General Manoj Pande, the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) proceeded on an official visit to the Republic of Korea (ROK) today. The aim of the visit is to further reinforce the robust defence ties between the two nations. The visit commences on November 20, a momentous day in the history of India-ROK relations. On November 20, 1950, 73 years back, 60 Para Field Ambulance of Indian Army landed in Busan, to provide much-needed medical support during the Korean War.
Itinerary of the COAS includes interactions with the senior military leadership of ROK and visits to defence formations and establishments. The key highlights of the tour include a bilateral meeting with General Park An-su, Chief of Staff, ROK Army besides a dialogue with General Kim Seung-kyum, Chairman of Joint Chief of Staff of ROK Armed Forces. The interactions will be aimed to foster mutual understanding, exchanging views on regional security situation and contribute to strengthening bilateral defence cooperation.
General Manoj Pande will also visit the National Cemetery and War Memorial and lay wreath in remembrance of the fallen heroes. He will pay a special visit to the Indian Section of the War Memorial in honour of the Indian soldiers who played a significant role in the Korean War.
The COAS is scheduled to visit establishments such as Defence Acquisition Programme Administration (DAPA), Korean Army Centre for Future and Innovation (KARCFI) and the Agency for Defence Development at Daejeon. He will receive briefings on issues of mutual interest and also visit a Drone Combat Unit. In addition, a tour of the Border Management and Surveillance Facility is also planned.
India and ROK celebrate 50 years of diplomatic ties in 2023. This visit underscores the commitment of both nations to strengthen the special strategic partnership. Demonstrating the enduring camaraderie that has flourished between India and the ROK over the years, the visit will further boost bilateral cooperation on a host of strategic issues particularly in defence collaboration.