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India pledges to deepen ties with S. Korea, marks 50 years

By Sanjay Kumar

Published : Dec. 18, 2023 - 20:38

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Indian Ambassador to Korea Amit Kumar(fourth from left) and the spouse of Ambassador Surabhi Kumar(third from left) pose for a group photo with guests during the event marking the 50th anniversary of India-Korea ties at the Indian Cultural Centre in Seoul on Wednesday. (Embassy of India in Seoul) Indian Ambassador to Korea Amit Kumar(fourth from left) and the spouse of Ambassador Surabhi Kumar(third from left) pose for a group photo with guests during the event marking the 50th anniversary of India-Korea ties at the Indian Cultural Centre in Seoul on Wednesday. (Embassy of India in Seoul)

The Indian Embassy underscored the milestones achieved in marking the 50th anniversary of ties with South Korea on Wednesday.

India and South Korea established their diplomatic relations on December 10, 1973.

The diplomatic bond gained momentum with India's Look East Policy in the early 1990s, an initiative by then-Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao, and his historic visit to Korea in 1993 that laid the foundation for a more robust partnership.

Korea and India agreed to upgrade the Special Strategic Partnership signed during former President Park Geun-hye's state visit to India in 2014, and the agreement was signed during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Korea in 2015.

President Park Geun-hye and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi attend a joint news conference at Cheong Wa Dae in 2015. (Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald) President Park Geun-hye and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi attend a joint news conference at Cheong Wa Dae in 2015. (Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)

South Korea sees India as a significant force in the IT and space sectors, valuing its large population of 1.47 billion as an asset in its national security strategy.

The 50th anniversary celebration witnessed South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi exchanging congratulatory messages on Monday.

The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to responding to global challenges, working as key partners for regional peace, and cooperating for the stability of the Indo-Pacific region based on shared values such as freedom and democracy.

South Korea aims to enhance the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with India and foster forward-looking collaboration in defense, science and technology and infrastructure, leveraging its strengths.

Artists perform Lavani and Kathak dance at an event marking the 50th anniversary of India-Korea ties at the Indian Cultural Centre in Seoul on Wednesday. (Embassy of India in Seoul) Artists perform Lavani and Kathak dance at an event marking the 50th anniversary of India-Korea ties at the Indian Cultural Centre in Seoul on Wednesday. (Embassy of India in Seoul)

Delivering remarks at an event on Wednesday, Indian Ambassador to Korea Amit Kumar emphasized the need for closer engagement between the two nations in the face of global shifts in geopolitics, geo-economics and emerging technologies.

“India looks forward to working with Korea to fully tap the immense opportunities in our relationship, not only bilaterally but also to address regional and global challenges, including working together for peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific,” said Kumar.

The Indian envoy highlighted India's rapidly growing $3.7 trillion economy, projecting sustained growth for the next two decades and offering ample opportunities for collaboration in green hydrogen, EVs, secondary batteries, electronics, semiconductors, AI, digital technologies and human resource mobility.

The event featured traditional Indian performances, including Lavani and Kathak dances, symbolizing the rich cultural exchange between the two nations.

Attendees included embassy officials, the Indian Chamber of Commerce in Korea, Foreign Ministry representatives, former diplomats, nongovernmental organizations, members of the Indian community and the media.