The Indian Embassy in Seoul marked its 75th Republic Day, envisioning a future-oriented partnership with South Korea on Friday.
The day commemorates the adoption of India's constitution in 1949, declaring India a "sovereign socialist secular democratic republic" that upholds the principles of justice, liberty, equality and fraternity for all citizens.
Recalling India’s Buddhist linkages with Korea, the country's role in the Korean War and today, the two countries' growing people-to-people ties, Indian Ambassador to Korea Amit Kumar highlighted future-oriented partnerships in his remarks at the event.
Buddhism, which originated in India, is believed to have been introduced to Korea in the 4th century during the Three Kingdoms period and transmitted to Japan.
According to the embassy, India deployed the 60 Para Field Ambulance Medical Unit, led by Lt. Col. A.G. Rangaraj, treating 222,000 Koreans, UN military members, and civilians supporting UN Security Council resolution 82 during the Korean War.
India's role in the Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission (NNRC) and its custodian forces resolved issues with prisoners of war, according to the official website of India’s Ministry of External Affairs.
Kumar recalled congratulatory messages exchanged between South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in December 2023 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties.
India and South Korea established official diplomatic relations on December 10, 1973.
Kumar said that a bilateral partnership has huge potential because India has a rapidly growing economy with a GDP of $3.7 trillion and projected fast growth for the next two decades.
“Green hydrogen, EVs, secondary batteries, electronics, semiconductors, AI, digital technologies and human resource mobility are just a few of the new avenues of cooperation,” he stressed.
He said that India and South Korea can address regional and global challenges, for the peace and stability of the Indo-Pacific.
South Korea also recognizes India's growth potential and advanced technologies in IT and space, aligning with its Indo-Pacific strategy.
Both nations are engaged in comprehensive cooperation plans on many fronts such as critical and emerging technologies, semiconductors, quantum technology, bioengineering, clean energy, AI and digital innovation.
The US-ROK Next Generation Critical and Emerging Technologies Dialogue, held in Seoul on Dec. 12, aligned India and Korea in comprehensive cooperation plans for semiconductors, quantum technology, bioengineering, clean energy, AI and digital innovation.
"We are discussing cooperation in critical and emerging technologies, energy, infrastructure and digital transformation," said Kumar.
Furthermore, the Progress Report of South Korea's Indo-Pacific Strategy published in 2023 says that Korea is maintaining close communication with regional partners such as India and making efforts to sign a $4 billion cap agreement with India for Economic Development Cooperation Fund to expand development cooperation in the Indo-Pacific.
India’s procurement of the second batch of K9 and K9 Thunder artillery weapons -- South Korea's independently developed self-propelled howitzer also known as “Vajra” (meaning "thunder" in Hindi) -- is underway, according to the report.
According to Kumar, India and South Korea are deepening consultations on political, security, defense industry and strategic issues and boosting economic and commercial linkages.
Approximately 15,000 members of the Indian community, including professionals, scientists, researchers and students, are a key bridge between India and Korea, said the ambassador.
“I believe that these numbers will only continue to grow in the coming years," said Kumar.
The event was attended by more than 500 members with the attendance of members from the diplomatic corps., Indian community members, India Embassy officials and their families, South Korean Foreign Ministry officials, think tank staff, academics, the media, and non-governmental organization staff.