Army Chief in Korea to bolster India-Korea defence bonds on historic anniversary
New Delhi: In an effort to further deepen defence ties between the two countries, General Manoj Pande, Chief of the Army Staff, has set out on an official visit to the Republic of Korea (ROK).
The three days visit starting today holds special significance as it commences on 20th November, a date etched in the history of India-ROK relations. Exactly 73 years ago on this day, in 1950, the Indian Army’s 60 Para Field Ambulance landed in Busan, providing vital medical support during the Korean War.
General Pande’s itinerary covers crucial interactions with ROK’s senior military leadership and visits to key defence establishments. Highlights include a bilateral meeting with General Park An-su, Chief of Staff, ROK Army, and a dialogue with General Kim Seung-kyum, Chairman of Joint Chief of Staff of ROK Armed Forces. These engagements are geared towards fostering mutual understanding, exchanging views on the regional security situation, and contributing to the strengthening of bilateral defence cooperation.
In a touching gesture, the army chief will visit the National Cemetery and War Memorial, laying a wreath in remembrance of the fallen heroes. A special visit to the Indian Section of the War Memorial is planned, paying homage to the Indian soldiers who played a significant role in the Korean War.
The COAS is scheduled to visit key establishments like Defence Acquisition Programme Administration (DAPA), Korean Army Centre for Future and Innovation (KARCFI), and the Agency for Defence Development at Daejeon. Briefings on mutual interests, a visit to a Drone Combat Unit, and a tour of the Border Management and Surveillance Facility are also on the agenda.
As India and ROK celebrate 50 years of diplomatic ties in 2023, this visit underscores the commitment of both nations to strengthen their special strategic partnership. It reflects the enduring camaraderie between India and the ROK, boosting bilateral cooperation on various strategic issues, particularly in the realm of defence collaboration. General Pande’s visit stands as a diplomatic milestone, contributing significantly to the continued growth of the relationship between India and the Republic of Korea.