South Korea should utilise India’s connection with North Korea, say experts

New Delhi, Sept.16 (ANI): India’s connections with North Korea should be utilised by South Korea to reach out to its northern neighbour, and countries with mutual relations with both Koreas should contribute in shaping the process of re-unification of both Koreas.

These were the two key messages that came out during the seminar on ‘India-Korea Relations’ today.

The seminar was jointly organised by the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) and the Embassy of the Republic of Korea (ROK), New Delhi.

Leading the Korean delegation, Ambassador Lee Joon-gyu noted that that India with its strong democratic set up and policy of neutrality can play a very pertinent role in strengthening the process of re-unification of both Koreas.

“A united Korea will act as a harbinger of peace not only in the region but globally,” an IDSA release quoted him, as saying.

North and South Korea, after becoming the members of the United Nations in 1991 agreed not to attack each other and strive towards re-unification in spite of functioning as independent nations. These two agreements are sought as the main pillars in the process of re-unification, it was pointed out.

However, reflecting on the existing stalemate between both the Koreas, the members of the Korean delegation insisted that any effort of re-unification will not materialise till North Korea gives up its nuclear ambitions. India can unite with South Korea in strengthening the demand for de-nuclearisation of North Korea at the international platform, and help in balancing of power and democratisation in the region, they insisted.

India on its part pursues a policy of neutrality and constructive contribution towards both Koreas, pointed out the experts from India.

The country has deep cultural and economic ties with South Korea with the nation being India’s 9th biggest trading partner. The ties are getting even stronger with increasing high level visits and expansion in consultative mechanism, observed the experts.

The relations between the two nations can be further bolstered by creating more awareness on areas of mutual strategic concerns and by identifying issues for articulating sustained cooperation, they noted.

Policies such as ‘Act East’, ‘Connect Central Asia’, NAPCI and Eurasia Initiatives, along with enhanced cooperation in defence and cyber security can also bring the two nations closer, concluded the experts. (ANI)^

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