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India – South Korea Relations

  • IASbaba
  • July 15, 2022
  • 0
International Relations
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Context: South Korea’s new willingness to become a global pivotal state and play an active role in regional affairs is bound to create multiple opportunities for a multi-dimensional India- Korea partnership

  • During the past five years, India and South Korea have experienced considerable divergence in their respective national objectives
  • India and South Korea have faced serious blockades to their economic ties.
  • Trade between the two countries was sluggish and there was no major inflow of South Korean investment into India.
  • Thus South Korea’s new willingness to become a global pivotal state and play an active role in regional affairs is bound to create multiple opportunities for a multi-dimensional India- Korea partnership.

Converging Ideas

Correcting a China tilt

  • South Korea’s strategic policy shift to correct its heavy tilt towards China is bound to bring new economic opportunities for both countries.
  • Both nations will now be in a better position to understand and accommodate the other’s trade investments and supply chain needs.

Economic Co operation

  • The emerging strategic alignment is creating a new convergence of capabilities and closer synergy in new areas of economic cooperation such as public health, green growth, digital connectivity, and trade, among others.
  • In 2020, India and South Korea signed a Roadmap for Defence Industries Cooperation.
  • With the strategic shift in South Korea’s defence orientation, new doors of cooperation for defence and security have emerged.

Indo-Pacific outlook

  • India has evolved excellent strategic partnerships with Japan, Vietnam and Australia. Unfortunately, South Korea has not received the same level of attention from the Indian establishment.
  • South Korea could be the fourth pillar in India’s Indo-Pacific strategy along with Japan, Australia, and Vietnam.
  • This can bring about a paradigm shift in India’s position and influence in the region.

Way Forward

  • The time has come for the Indian and South Korean bilateral partnership to be strategically scaled up at the political, diplomatic and security domain levels.
  • With South Korea’s emergence as a leader in critical technologies, cybersecurity and cyber-capacity building, outer space and space situational awareness capabilities, South Korea can contribute immensely to enhance India’s foundational strengths in the Indo-Pacific.

India can help South Korea withstand Chinese pressure and North Korean threats. An independent, strong, and democratic South Korea can be a long-term partner with India that will add significant value to India’s Indo-Pacific strategy. This new partnership can have a long-term positive impact for both countries and the Indo-Pacific region. It is an opportunity that neither country can afford to miss.

Source: The Hindu

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