PM leaves for home after Seoul nuclear summit

Seoul: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh left here for home today after concluding a four-day visit during which he attended the Nuclear Security Summit, held bilateral talks with the South Korean President and had informal discussions with his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani.

During his stay here, India and South Korea agreed to step up political and security cooperation and vowed to double the bilateral trade to an ambitious USD 40 billion by 2015. "We agreed to expand our political and security cooperation," Singh had said after his talks with President Lee Myung-bak on Sunday.

At the Nuclear Security Summit today, he made a strong pitch for India`s membership of four exclusive nuclear clubs, contending that it would help strengthen its export control systems and maintain highest international standards of its nuclear programme.

India is keen for membership of the NSG, MTCR, Wassenaar Arrangement and the Australia Group. In his address to the world leaders, Singh warned that nuclear terrorism will remain a potent threat as long as there are terrorists seeking to gain access to atomic material and technologies, asserting that the best guarantee for nuclear security is a world free of such weapons.

Singh had an informal meeting with Gilani on the margins of the summit today and the two leaders expressed their desire to intensify the bilateral dialogue process for further engagements. Last night also, they had a "meet and greet" encounter prior to a dinner hosted for dignitaries attending the summit here. The Prime Minister on Monday also had meetings with his Norwegian and Italian counterparts.