• 폰트크기작게
  • 폰트크기크게
  • TTS
  • 단어장
  • 기사스크립
  • SNS
2017-11-26 17:05
By Chun In-bum



During the Korean war, India realized that her national interests were affected by a possible spill over of the conflict between the U.S. and China. India sent medical units as a humanitarian gesture but more importantly played an important role in the Neutral Nation Repatriation Commission which oversaw the return of the Prisoners of War (POWs).

After the Korean War, India as the leader of the non-aligned nations of the world, mediated issues on the Korean Peninsula as an honest broker between the two Koreas. Although these political efforts did not receive the recognition of the general public, the effort in itself reflects the important role that India can play around the world’s political arena.
Militarily, India has a long and rich tradition of valor and professionalism. Historically, vast and large Indian armies competed for dominance in India. India’s dispute with Pakistan and the Peoples Republic of China’s support to Pakistan has been an important factor in India’s military to maintain a high state of readiness.

As India has grown economically, her importance in world affairs has also expanded.
All of these factors and many more contribute to Korea’s interest in India. India, on the other hand should recognize the potential for Korea-India relations. The unique location of the Republic of Korea provides products and ideas from India to merge and morph into the world market much easier. Indian intellect and Korean openness to interact will be the basis for such cooperation.

From a military perspective, India’s contribution during the Korean war is a sound basis for future cooperation. Especially, India’s role in the armistice process is unique and important. A review of these historical contributions needs to be highlighted by both Korea and India.

India’s willingness and potential for being a world player should be welcomed by regional powers as an honest broker as it was during the Korean War. Military peaceful exchanges would be a great start with port visits by ships.
A more practical idea, though, India’s regional security can and will be enhanced with cooperation with Korea as well as Japan. These advances will inevitability affect relations with China in a non-confrontational aspect. Interaction with the Korean military will never be a military threat to China but could be a route to which better understanding can be formed between India and China. Korea could be a mediator for peace in this relationship.

The Korean military should expand its relationship with India. Indian professionalism aside, India’s role in the non-aligned community as well as in U.N. Peacekeeping operations will provide Korea with opportunities to contribute to world peace and play a greater role in world security. Korea must realize as the Koreans contribute in these world affairs that when the time comes for Korea to need assistance in security matters, world support will be found as a result of its efforts.

Korea’s arms industry would be a great bonanza where cooperation could occur between Korea and India. Korea has grown into a technologically advanced nation that can transfer technology to a large market such as India’s. India, on the other hand, has achieved first class military innovations in many areas but requires a new generation of effective weapons and has room in its market for Korea. This sort of relationship is not easy but if you look at the alternatives and potential room for development, it is well worth a try.

In the relationship between India and Korea, Korea needs to look further into the future and beyond Northeast Asia. Whether the door is opened by economics or by diplomatic avenues, Indian and Korean militaries have a role to play. Recognizing this fact and working to realize this idea is the next step.


The writer is a retired ROK Army Lt. Gen. who served 39 years in combat units and recently returned from a concurrent  fellowship with the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University. This is his contributing article to the Korea-India partnership.


  • 폰트크기작게
  • 폰트크기크게
  • TTS
  • 단어장
  • 기사스크립
  • SNS