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Indian President’s visit to Korea
김진욱  2011-07-26 04:06:38, 조회 : 10,547, 추천 : 2023

Indian President’s visit to Korea

Indian President, Pratibha Devisingh Patil visited South Korea on Monday, 25th July 2011. The Summit meeting took place at Blue House (President’s Palace) where the Indian President met Lee Myung-bak, the President of Republic of Korea (ROK). She visited the Chairman of Parliament of ROK, Park Hee-tae and went to see the Samsung Research Complex.  

Before going to the Summit meeting she paid homage to Indian Nobel laureate Ravindra Nath Tagore statue which is located in Daehangro Street. Earlier when the president General Park used to pass through the road; whole traffic was controlled by the traffic police but now this is not the case in South Korea. But when the honorable President of India passed through the road, the traffic was controlled for security reasons and as a mark of respects to her. In the honour of Indian President, the school children learnt the Bengali Song ‘EKLA-CHALO RE’ and they sang the song in Blue House Palace when President Pratibha Devisingh Patil reached there.

The Civil nuclear cooperation agreement between India and the ROK was signed in the summit meet in which both the Government of India and Government of ROK will cooperate for civil uses of Nuclear energy. South Korea has developed a world class safe and efficient Civil Nuclear power plant which contributes up to 40% of the total electricity of South Korea. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was much impressed by the safety standard of the Civil Nuclear plant developed in South Korea.

Over 300 Korean companies are working in India and South Korea has made huge foreign direct investment in many sectors of the Indian economy. Presently there is some land acquisition and rehabilitation problem for the establishment of Mega Steel Power plant in Odisa (Orissa) by the world renowned steel company – POSCO. The strategic partnership has already been signed between South Korea and India in February 2010 which has improved our economic and diplomatic ties, trade, social and cultural exchanges. The CEPA (Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement) is progressing well in trade investment and human exchange and have further potential to improve Indo-South Korean relationship.

The two leaders also signed important agreement such as "Social Security Agreement implementation arrangements', aviation agreements, shipping agreements and the prevention of double taxation. India and South Korea will meet and discuss important strategic issues in the Nuclear Summit 2012 to be held in Seoul, ROK. Both countries also cooperate at international level the issues of mutual interest such as climate change and other issues.  

        As we know the relations between India and Korea goes back to ancient time. In 30 AD princess of Ayodhya came to Korea and married Kim Suro-the King of Gaya. There are many posteriors that still visit and pay homage to Ayodhya every year. Buddhism reached the hermit kingdom-Korea through China and is still a dominant religion there and the origin of Buddhism is from India. So both Indian and Korean people share almost similar cultural values and oriental philosophy. At present lot of academic exchange between India and Korea is taking place. The Korean Foundation provides many scholarships to Indian students to complete a lot of educational programmes of science as well as humanities. The Korean language is taught in Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi University and The English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU), Hyderabad.

South Korea has a long experience of modern shipbuilding and the shipbuilding industries are very specialized having a state of art technology for example Hyundai Shipbuilding Company. India is an emerging power in South Asia being located at the head of the Indian Ocean which every super-power wants to control. South Korean shipbuilding technology can help a lot India regarding the commercial shipbuilding as well as for defense purpose in Navy such as building Aircraft Carriers. So there is a good scope of strategic cooperation between both the nations.

Another area of cooperation is in defense sector particularly the Joint military and naval exercises which will help both the countries to modernize their training process; South Korea has advanced and developed in anti-guerrilla warfare which is operating at the Corps of Special Warfare; and in this regard the Korean experience can be helpful to India in managing Cross Board terrorism and Border road development. On the other hand, India is very good at training of the soldiers and army officers. The Indian defense institutes such as the National Defense Academy, Pune; Officers’ Training Academy, Chennai; and Indian Military Academy, Dehradun are centers of excellence. So both the countries can cooperate in this sector for mutual benefits.      

India has signed many Civil Nuclear Deals with other countries but the safety measures of the Nuclear Power Plant Buildings are in question after the nuclear leakage in Japan’s tsunami. And there were many protests in proposed Jaitpur Nuclear Plant by French company, Areva. South Korea specializes in construction sector whether it is plants, housing, roads and ports. President Lee is engineer himself and earlier he was chairman of Hyundai Company which is diversified into automobiles, construction and shipbuilding. The confidence behind signing of the Civil Nuclear Deal and offering the best earthquake-resistant and safe plants is his personal experience and background.  
The author, Jinwoog Kim is President, Korea Research Institute for Military Affairs, Seoul

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