Continuing with his series of visits for military diplomacy, Army Chief General MM Naravane began his three-day visit to the Republic of Korea (ROK) — known as South Korea — on Monday. During the visit, he will be meeting the senior military and civilian leadership of ROK, the Army said
On Monday, Naravane met with South Korea’s Minister for National Defence Suh Wook as well as top leaders of the military — including the Army chief, Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Minister of Defence Acquisition Planning Administration.
Naravane began his trip however, by visits to the National Cemetery and the War Memorial at Seoul. The trip, to China’s neighbourhood, comes even as India and China are involved in a nearly eight-month long military standoff in eastern Ladakh, with around 50,000 troops of each side positioned in the region, and no signs of disengagement.
Bilateral ties between India and South Korea can be traced to the start of the Korean war of 1950 when India deployed an Army medical unit, which played a significant part in various Allied offensives over the course of three years. Military sources mentioned that both the nations “have a convergence of outlook in the strategic and defence realm. India’s Act East Policy finds resonance in the present ROK administration’s New Southern Policy”.
“India considers ROK as a high quality manufacturer of defence-related equipment in sectors such as aeronautics, ship-building, electronics, missile technologies, miniaturisation and software,” an Army source said, and added that South Korea “also has the potential to be the principal partner in developing the Indian defence industry base”.
South Korea and India are also signatories to Mutual Logistics Support Agreement between the navies and which can further be expanded to other services as well, sources said.
The Indian Army has also initiated strategic level exchanges with the Army of the ROK, and the first Army to Army Staff talks were held in ROK in August 2018. In 2015, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited South Korea, the bilateral relationship was elevated to the level of Special Strategic Partnership.
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