India & South Korea

South Korea has offered to build nuclear reactors in India and sought land for the project. The move is significant on another count too — it indicates a renewed interest in the Indian nuclear power sector with the impending resolution of the Kudankulam crisis. New Delhi, in turn, is likely to launch Korean satellites, adding South Korea to a clientele that includes Israel, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Algeria. Emerging from talks with president Lee Myung-bak in Seoul, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, “India has offered to launch Korean satellites on Indian space launch vehicles.” A joint statement said, “The two leaders proposed that the concerned agencies of both countries study the possible cooperation in future space activities, including launching a nano-satellite developed by Korean students on an Indian launch vehicle.” Korea, in many ways, rewrote nuclear history a few years ago by winning a contract to build reactors in the UAE, undercutting French giant Areva. Given the delays in working out a nuclear deal with Japan, which is holding up deals with France among others, some quarters in India feel Korean reactors could be the answer.

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