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India - South & North Korea Thread

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India - South & North Korea Thread

Postby Suraj » 27 Sep 2014 03:59

Wonderful story from the ongoing Asian Games:
India’s cheer group: Korean war veterans
Kim Twan-hae has a fascinating story to narrate. The 91-year-old’s memory has understandably faded a bit. But on the topic of the Korean War, it remains sharp as ever.

He says he was leading the South Korean troops who were trying to push back the North Korean army from entering Incheon, when bullets pierced through his upper body. “Two. Here and here,” he says, pointing towards his chest and right shoulder. Kim waited nearly two-and-a-half hours for the medics to arrive. But none did. He looked up one last time and closed his eyes, not knowing if he would be able to open them again.

But just when he gave up, he saw an unfamiliar face charging towards him. The only way he could understand the man was not a threat was because of his uniform — a white coat. The next thing he remembers is waking up 48 hours later in an army medical tent near Seoul, with his ‘saviour’ standing next to him. “The man who saved me was an Indian. He was a part of the medical unit that was headed by Colonel Rangaraj. But to me, he was an angel,” Kim says.

On Thursday, Kim, along with a hundred other war veterans and their families, cheered the Indian hockey side in their group stage match of the Incheon Asian Games against Pakistan. The motley group was easily outnumbered and out-voiced by the 3,000-odd Pakistani fans at the Seonhak Hockey Stadium. But waving the tri-colour and proudly chanting “Indo!” every time Sardar Singh & Co. moved forward, these war veterans stood out in the crowd.

Kil Eun Young, an officer with the Korean ministry of patriots and veteran affairs — a government arm that looks after its war heroes — says this was their “way to show gratitude to the Indian people for supporting South Korea during the war”.

“Many people are not aware of India’s contribution (in the war). The medical unit headed by Col Rangaraj fearlessly rushed to the aid of wounded soldiers in middle of a fierce crossfire. They didn’t care for their lives and it was admirable because they were fighting for the cause of a country which was not theirs,” Young says.

During the Korean War in 1950, the Indian army had provided a medical unit to tend the sick and wounded soldiers. The 627-member 60 Parachute Field Ambulance unit served in Korea for a total of three-and-a-half years (November 1950-May 1954), which Young informs is the longest single tenure by any military unit under the UN flag.

“Had it not been for the devoted services and sacrifices of the Indian people, Korea would not have become what it is today,” Young added.


There wasn’t much to cheer for the war veterans on Thursday as India lost 2-1 to Pakistan. But they weren’t disappointed. “It’s not about the result. We will continue to support India at every other event at these Asian Games,” Kim says, waving the Indian flag with pride.

Image

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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby SSridhar » 27 Sep 2014 05:38

Really, really heart-warming. How come there were 3000 Pakistanis at Incheon?

BTW, does anybody know if Col Rangaraj and his team got suitably decorated?

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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby Suraj » 27 Sep 2014 08:34

Lt Col A G Rangaraj was one of the two awarded Maha Vir Chakra for Korean War operations. Listed here on BR's own MVC site:
http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/HEROISM/MVC.html

Multiple Vir Chakras were also awarded, according to wikipedia:
The highlight of the tenure undoubtedly was when the unit provided their services during Operation Tomahawk on 21 March 1951 to the US Army’s 187 Airborne Regimental Combat Team for which the unit was awarded two Mahavir Chakras, one bar to Vir Chakra and six Vir Chakras. and a host of other Indian and international individual and unit decorations. These included the unit citations from the US and South Korean Army chiefs, commendations from the Commonwealth Division as well as the British commanders.

There was a special mention of the unit in the House of Lords in the British Parliament in London. The 12 members of the unit who participated in the airborne operation were also awarded the US parachute wings. On their return to India, the unit was awarded the President's Trophy by the first President of the Republic of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad on 10 March 1955 at Agra, the first one of its kind and the only one to date. The troops of the unit were also awarded 25 Mentioned-in-Despatches.

Very nice of the Koreans to remember those who stood for them, over half a century later.

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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby ashish raval » 27 Sep 2014 09:47

^^ soko and Japan are infested with pukes who dupes Asians into believing that they are from Punjab in Indian subcontinent and from Bengal and not Bangladesh. These guys are in hordes working in restaurants, cabbies, trawlers catching fish and serving in meat industry. They are breeding in en masse too with half of them marrying Korean and Japanese women's who are gullible believing in the pukes and Bangladeshi masquerading as indians there. Dittoo in other countries where real Indians are thin in population. They are on their guard when an indian looking face is around and first word they will throw to them is Indian ? And enthusiastic Indian will say yeah !!! That sets the tone until you ask them where are you from ? And they will say I am from Punjab or bengal, if you probe further where in Punjab, they will sheepishly say sikh sounding border town of Pakistan and try to deflect.

I have seen these on umpteen travels around.

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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby SSridhar » 27 Sep 2014 12:23

Suraj, thanks.

ashish_raval, ys, I am aware of that tactic by Pakis, but I somehow thought that there were not so many of them in SoKo.

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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby ashish raval » 27 Sep 2014 18:43

^^ I believe the official number is more than ten thousand in south Korea. I presume illegals will be around same number.

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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby JE Menon » 27 Sep 2014 18:49

Damn, how did these buggers end up there??? So many? 10,000?

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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby ashish raval » 04 Oct 2014 11:26

JE Menon wrote:Damn, how did these buggers end up there??? So many? 10,000?


They were few thousands twenty years back mainly arriving working on ship and off loading on the ports and disappearing in the population. Few arrived as chefs, cleaners, hospitality staff, some from travel industry, fewer from government service, "refugee" and some illegally. Before sokos could realise they were few thousand strong
, then families came from bakistan. Soko really did not bothered then as they filled low ranked jobs. But having said that rats being rats can multiply quickly and become tens of thousands in a generation. Remember there were few who came from Bangladesh too. They all rolled up under indian umbrella initially. Now these chickens they have got wings of their own to fly for 5-10 Meters lol and compare themselves with peacock ;).

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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby vishvak » 04 Oct 2014 11:41

Pretenders trying to pass off as the real Indians is probably a very big problem all over the world. NRIs could start a diaspora verification service to the benefit of anyone, including foreigners, who don't want to be betrayed.

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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby JE Menon » 04 Oct 2014 16:10

thanks for that info ashish... good to know, and keep an eye on.

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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby sanjaykumar » 05 Oct 2014 02:55

If there is a need to break the ice in a social or professional event, do order the ham....it may transform people :mrgreen:

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India-South & North Korea : News and Analysis

Postby A_Gupta » 03 Feb 2015 21:11

I couldn't find a thread for South Korea. Hence this new topic.

From the Indian Embassy in Korea:
http://indembassy.or.kr/pages.php?id=21
Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore composed a short but evocative poem – 'Lamp of the East' - in 1929 about Korea's glorious past and its promising bright future. He wrote:

"In the golden age of Asia
Korea was one of its lamp bearers,
And that lamp is waiting to be lit once again
For the illumination of the East."
Last edited by A_Gupta on 03 Feb 2015 21:15, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: India-South Korea: News and Analysis

Postby A_Gupta » 03 Feb 2015 21:11

http://www.defensenews.com/story/defens ... /21330323/

NEW DELHI — India may legalize the use of agents by foreign defense companies and establish penalties other than blacklisting when overseas firms violate rules, said a Defence Ministry source.

Announcement of the new policy will come by late February, the source said, and follows threats by South Korea that it would no longer join India in defense programs after New Delhi put on hold a US $500 million mine countermeasures vessel (MCMVs) award, won by South Korea's Kangnam Corp., after allegations that the company used defense agents. Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar has since asked MoD officials to legalize use of agents for overseas defense companies operating in India, said the MoD source.

It was during the fifth India-Korea Joint Defense Committee Meeting in Seoul Nov. 17-18 that South Korean defense officials told their Indian counterparts they were angry over MoD's decision on the MCMV deal. Parrikar, who took over Nov. 10 as defense minister, decided to resolve the issue, the source said.

The fate of the deal to supply eight minesweepers to the Indian Navy is still not known, said a diplomat of the South Korean Embassy.

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Re: India-South Korea: News and Analysis

Postby shiv » 03 Feb 2015 21:15

LOL

Lack of a SoKo thread is ironic given that Samsung dominates the smartphone market and a whole lot of Korean names are literally household names - LG, Hyundai, Daewoo etc

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Re: India-South Korea: News and Analysis

Postby A_Gupta » 03 Feb 2015 21:17

^^^ Shiv, I'm taking "look east" really seriously. Contemplating the sh*thole that is Pakistan is contrary to all our traditional prescriptions, including Satsang, for good mental and spiritual health.

I think we need a India-Taiwan thread, too, but will hold off on that for now.

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Re: India-South Korea: News and Analysis

Postby A_Gupta » 03 Feb 2015 21:37

From the Indian Embassy in Korea:
http://indembassy.or.kr/pages.php?id=21

According to "SamgukYusa" or "The Heritage History of the Three Kingdoms" written in the 13th century, a Princess from Ayodhya (Suriratna) came to Korea, married King Kim-Suro, and became Queen Hur Hwang-ok in the year 48 AD [wife of former President Lee Myung-bak (Mrs. Kim Yoon-ok), former President Kim Dae-jung, former President Kim Young-sam and former PM Kim Jong-pil, inter alia, trace their ancestry to the royal couple].

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India - South & North Korea Thread

Postby A_Gupta » 04 Feb 2015 05:18

Since there was no South Korea, even a month-old news is new :)
This is from December 29, 2014
http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/india-so ... ors-719896
India, South Korea to Enhance Cooperation in Defence, Infrastructure Sectors

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and foreign ministry officials with South Korean officials.

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Seoul: In boost to their strategic ties, India and South Korea today decided to enhance cooperation in sectors like shipbuilding, electronics, defence production, infrastructure and energy besides outlining mutual interest in areas of nuclear energy and cyber security.

In the eighth Joint Commission Meeting, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her South Korean counterpart Yun Byung-se deliberated on all aspects of bilateral ties with a view to "chart out a road map" to further deepen engagement.

"They agreed that development of cooperation in the field of defence equipment and technology, as well as, sectors like shipbuilding, electronics, IT, energy and infrastructure held considerable possibilities. They reiterated mutual interest in deepening cooperation in the areas of civil nuclear energy and cyber security," the Ministry of External Affairs said.

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Re: India-South Korea: News and Analysis

Postby sum » 04 Feb 2015 05:25

^^ One ( currently) South Korean reporting in this dhaaga!

So far what i found here is that the Indians do have a pretty good impression among the aam-aadmi here though most of the local search engines etc will spit out only negative news about Desh as their first hits ( guess our DDM is to blame for that)

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Re: India-South Korea: News and Analysis

Postby A_Gupta » 04 Feb 2015 17:33

^^^ Was Mangalyaan noted there?

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Re: India-South Korea: News and Analysis

Postby Suraj » 05 Feb 2015 12:35

I merged in several posts from the time of the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, into this thread. They were all in the ASEAN/East Asia thread but are better off here.

For what it's worth, our hockey team went on to win the gold, with plenty of cheering from that group of old Korean War veterans no doubt.

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Re: India-South Korea: News and Analysis

Postby A_Gupta » 05 Feb 2015 17:25

^^^ Suraj, great story!

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Re: India-South Korea: News and Analysis

Postby nvishal » 05 Feb 2015 18:31

Korean pop or k-pop is extremely popular in north east india where I find routine mentions of it. The trend was termed "a wave" . At its height, korean pop bands performed at various locations in NE. The state govts in the NE used state money to fund these shows as they saw the outside world noticing them. The "wave" gradually fizzled out but few k pop bands still stop over in the NE as part of their "world tour".



The Korean Cultural Wave In Nagaland

Also popular and noticeable in india are korean christian missionaries.

Why So Many Korean Missionaries?

You'll find them all across the NE in their mission to "save" folks. The converted christians in the NE now do the same. Image Sending missionaries around the world is one of the list of priorities for many christian communities in the NE. This incident generated a lot of tension with tibetan buddhists.

A group of South Korean Christians visited a Buddhist pilgrimage site in India and held a religious service to protest “idol-worship,” according to a local Buddhist newspaper.

Citing a South Korean monk and eyewitness, the Beopbo Shinmun said three young visitors on Friday sang hymns and prayed inside the Mahabodhi Temple, one of the religion’s holiest places.

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Re: India-South Korea: News and Analysis

Postby A_Gupta » 06 Feb 2015 16:54

http://www.dnaindia.com/money/report-po ... nt-2058633

Odisha government today said it would like the Centre to accept its recommendations in favour of Posco and termed Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar's statement that the South Korean steel major too must participate in bidding in order to get mining lease, as "going back from international commitment".

"The present Prime Minister and the previous Prime Minister have assured the company and the South Korean leaders that the Centre would support the steel project. It is like making a commitment to the South Korea," Odisha's Steel and Mines minister Prafulla Kumar Mallick told reporters.

Voicing displeasure over Tomar's statement, Mallick said the state government had already submitted all requisite documents to the Centre much before the ordinance on MMDR amendment in order to ensure prospecting license in favour of Posco-India on Khandadhar iron ore reserve.

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Re: India-South Korea: News and Analysis

Postby member_28640 » 06 Feb 2015 18:42

nvishal wrote:Korean pop or k-pop is extremely popular in north east india where I find routine mentions of it. The trend was termed "a wave" . At its height, korean pop bands performed at various locations in NE. The state govts in the NE used state money to fund these shows as they saw the outside world noticing them. The "wave" gradually fizzled out but few k pop bands still stop over in the NE as part of their "world tour".



The Korean Cultural Wave In Nagaland

Also popular and noticeable in india are korean christian missionaries.

Why So Many Korean Missionaries?

You'll find them all across the NE in their mission to "save" folks. The converted christians in the NE now do the same. Image Sending missionaries around the world is one of the list of priorities for many christian communities in the NE. This incident generated a lot of tension with tibetan buddhists.

A group of South Korean Christians visited a Buddhist pilgrimage site in India and held a religious service to protest “idol-worship,” according to a local Buddhist newspaper.

Citing a South Korean monk and eyewitness, the Beopbo Shinmun said three young visitors on Friday sang hymns and prayed inside the Mahabodhi Temple, one of the religion’s holiest places.

Not Just K-Pop saar, Korean films are also very popular in the north east. My friend asked me incredulously if I havent heard of Korean Films.
NE is based on tribes, some tribes have their origin from Thailand, Java etc Of course there are still links to the place where they came from and K- Culture filtered down to our own part of the world

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Re: India-South Korea: News and Analysis

Postby A_Gupta » 04 Mar 2015 17:06

New Delhi: Attracted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ programme, and, more pertinently, to meet conditions that make it mandatory for foreign companies wishing to sell equipment to large Indian government projects to have factories in India, China’s Baoding Tianwei Group Ltd (BTW) and South Korea’s Hyosung Corp. plan to set up electricity transmission equipment manufacturing facilities in the country.


Read more at: http://www.livemint.com/Industry/OUskQE ... ource=copy

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Re: India-South Korea: News and Analysis

Postby A_Gupta » 04 Mar 2015 17:07

http://www.risingkashmir.com/2-kashmiri ... -in-korea/
Two Kashmiri boys are representing India for the 24th Asia Alpine Skiing Championships Sking in Korea.

Team India comprises of four boys – Arif Khan and Wasik Ul Billah from Kashmir and Rajat Thakur and Rohit Thakur from Manali. The championship started from Korea from March 1 and will conclude on March 5.

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Re: India-South Korea: News and Analysis

Postby A_Gupta » 11 Mar 2015 15:21

Economic slowdown?
http://www.thecropsite.com/news/17401/s ... 00-tonnes/

INDIA - South Korea oilmeal imports from India has recorded a drop of 198,000 tonnes at 831,967 tonnes during April 2014 to February 2015 as compared to 1.02 million tonnes imported during the same period last year, the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEAI) which work for vegetable oil industry said in a report.

SEAI said that not only South Korea, import from Iran, Thailand, Taiwan and from European countries were also down during 11 months period in this fiscal.
- See more at: http://www.thecropsite.com/news/17401/s ... 7LXnE.dpuf

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Re: India-South Korea: News and Analysis

Postby A_Gupta » 12 Mar 2015 15:23

http://www.dnaindia.com/money/report-so ... rs-2068145

South Korea's central bank cut interest rates for the first time in five months on Thursday in a surprise move, joining the ranks of other economies which have recently taken advantage of lower inflation to ease monetary policy to spur sluggish growth.

The Bank of Korea's monetary policy committee, grappling with a weaker-than-expected economic recovery, lowered its base rate by 25 basis points to a record low of 1.75%, confounding expectations that it would wait at least another month to see if domestic and export demand improved.

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Re: India-South Korea: News and Analysis

Postby A_Gupta » 13 Mar 2015 16:25

http://www.business-standard.com/articl ... 673_1.html
During the period 2009-10 to 2013-14, bilateral trade between the two countries increased from US $ 12 billion to US $ 16.68 billion, including increase in Indian exports from US $ 3.42 billion to US $ 4.20 billion.

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Re: India-South Korea: News and Analysis

Postby A_Gupta » 27 Mar 2015 21:09

http://zeenews.india.com/news/india/new ... 68845.html
Vikram Doraiswami, an Indian Foreign Service officer of 1992 batch, and at present ambassador to Uzbekistan, has been appointed the next envoy to Seoul.

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Re: India-South Korea: News and Analysis

Postby A_Gupta » 28 Mar 2015 08:37

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-new ... 31355.aspx

Modi will undertake a three-nation tour of China, Mongolia and South Korea from May 14 to 19. According to officials, the visit is aimed at giving a boost to the East Asia policy, aligning it with Make in India initiatives and bringing momentum to the country’s foreign policy in the strategically significant region.
...
...
...
His visit to South Korea has a definite Make in India angle to it. India is keen on getting investment and going for joint manufacturing in areas where South Korea has a technological edge.

In the manufacturing sector, South Korean companies including Samsung, LG and Hyundai that have strong presence in India. “Infrastructure is another area, where South Korea is keen to invest,” said a source.

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Re: India-South Korea: News and Analysis

Postby K Mehta » 28 Mar 2015 13:44

Not exactly India SoKo and old one, but relevant.
http://m.timesofindia.com/india/UN-chief-goes-down-memory-lane-visits-old-home-in-Delhi/articleshow/45878990.cms
NEW DELHI: It's not widely known outside his friends circle, but UN secretary general Ban ki Moon really likes a crisp "naan". Perhaps that came from the time he spent as a tenant in C Block, Vasant Vihar, in the 1970s. On his way to the airport on Tuesday afternoon, Ban ki Moon and his wife walked down memory lane when they stopped to see their old home.

Looking back, Ban told TOI, "I started my diplomatic career in 1972 here. My son was born here in 1974. Even after I returned to Korea I was dealing with South Asia as a desk officer for the region. I have continuously dealt with regional issues. It has brought me to India many times." Ban ki Moon topped Korea's foreign service examination, joining the foreign ministry in 1970. He took his first overseas posting to India, turning down an opportunity to go to the US.
"It was quite natural that my daughter found an Indian as her spouse. I'm very proud. Yesterday I met my in-laws in Delhi. They live here." His daughter, Ban Hyun Hee, married UN official Siddharth Chatterjee, who currently works for the UN Population Fund. Talking to TOI in 2012, Ban ki Moon had lovingly described his grandson as the "best joint venture between Korea and India."
On Tuesday, getting ready to visit his erstwhile landlady, Ban was wistful. "I have a sentimental attachment to the place and I wanted to visit them. I met the landlord, Sangram Singh, last time. But this time I was informed he had passed away. So I'm going to meet his wife and son."

And he did. Garlanded by his former landlady's family in welcome, Ban and his wife looked around their old home. They noticed, regretfully, that the big banana tree was no longer there.

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Re: India-South Korea: News and Analysis

Postby A_Gupta » 06 Apr 2015 16:39

Interesting effect of China's AIIB:
http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/bi ... 76596.html

Item in full:
Korea is seeking to export its knowhow and expertise on reclaiming tidal flats and turning them into residential and industrial zones to India, a plan that could bring nearly $10 billion into the country.

The Korea Rural Community Corp. (KRC), which undertook the Saemangeum project, said Monday that it will take all possible measures to secure a $10 billion project to reclaim land from the sea in Gujarat Province, Northwestern India.

The scheme will construct a 34-kilometer-long seawall and reclaim tens of thousands of hectares of new land.

In 2009, the state-run rural development agency made a bid for the project but decided not to pursue it, citing its low profitability. But now KRC thinks it can make money if it receives funds from the envisioned China-led Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank for implementing the reclamation work.

Things will likely turn more favorable for KRC because Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit Korea as early as May to discuss a wide range of economic issues with President Park Geun-hye.

"We are pushing again to win the right to conduct the Kalpasar Project," a KRC official said. "Besides India, we are trying to make inroads into Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia and other Southeast Asian nations seeking to reclaim land from the sea against rising sea levels."

The official said KRC will make more efforts to share its knowhow and expertise it learned from the Saemangeum project with India, Southeast Asia and other developing countries.

Korea spent around 3 trillion won ($2.8 billion) from 1991 to build the 33.9-kilometer-long seawall, and reclaim 40,100 hectares of new land and create a freshwater lake, in southwestern North Jeolla Province.

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Re: India-South Korea: News and Analysis

Postby Pulikeshi » 13 Apr 2015 22:12

North Korea's Foreign Minister Makes Rare Visit to India

New Delhi has not historically played the role of an intermediary actor between North Korea and its neighbors, but if Ri’s visit truly included a briefing on the North’s nuclear weapons program, it is likely that India could convey this information to other Northeast Asian states.


But India is playing a role with both Japan & South Korea... so seems like this is India initiated... good move.

Ri’s visit to India additionally comes at a time when relations between China and North Korea are “on shaky ground,” as The Diplomat‘s Kerry Brown noted. Ri’s trip to India will not go unnoticed in Beijing. For New Delhi, which recently declared its intention to turn its decades-old “Look East” policy into an “Act East” policy, increasing its engagement with Pyongyang is, in many ways, both strategic and calculated.


NK gets to play the India-China card as well. My question is does India possess the diplomatic muscle to make complex moves along multiple dimensions? Historically it has seemed like skilled staffing with innovative outlook has been a challenge, perhaps things are changing...

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Re: India-South Korea: News and Analysis

Postby arun » 14 Apr 2015 05:39

^^^ More.

During the first ever visit to India by a North Korean Foreign Minister, India conveyed its security concerns to North Korea over supply of its missile technology to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

India should not agree to North Korea’s request for humanitarian aid for passing on nuclear weapon and missile technology to the Islamic Republic :

Read more at:

India conveys concern to North Korea over missile tech supply to Pakistan

RajeshA
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Re: India-South Korea: News and Analysis

Postby RajeshA » 14 Apr 2015 18:37



May not be a bad idea to buy up land there!

Prem
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Re: India-South Korea: News and Analysis

Postby Prem » 14 Apr 2015 21:12

RajeshA wrote:
Pulikeshi wrote:North Korea's Foreign Minister Makes Rare Visit to India
May not be a bad idea to buy up land there!


More than land , get few Nukes from them matching the signature of Paki-Puke-Nukes.

member_22733
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Re: India-South Korea: News and Analysis

Postby member_22733 » 14 Apr 2015 21:32

Any chances of getting blueprints and performance envelope of nodong ding dong?

ramana
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Re: India-South Korea: News and Analysis

Postby ramana » 15 Apr 2015 05:20

A_Gupta got your message loud and clear. May be will change thread title to Korean Peninsula or North and South Korea.
Which one do you like?

Sum your views?

ramana
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Re: India-South Korea: News and Analysis

Postby ramana » 15 Apr 2015 09:40

Bio of Lt.Gen S.P.Thoratt


In 1953 Thorat was sent to Korea as Commander of the Custodian Force of India (CFI). Thimayya had been appointed the Chairman of the five nation `Neutral Nation Repatriation Commission' (NNRC). The CFI comprised 190 Infantry Brigade, under the command of Brigadier R.S. Paintal. It had three infantry battalions, and an engineer company. Later, two more battalions, and a company of Mahar machine gunners were provided. Thorat selected Brigadier Gurbaksh Singh, DSO, as his Deputy Commander. In July, 1953, when the Armistice was signed, about 30,000 North Korean and Chinese prisoners were captured by the United Nations Command. The Korean Peoples Army (KPVA) and the Chinese People's Volunteers (CPV) Command held several hundred British, American and South Koreans, as prisoners. All these were transferred to the custody of the CFI, under Thorat, having refused to be repatriated, after the cease fire. It was hoped that after sometime in custody of the neutral CFI, the effects of propaganda and brainwashing would wear off, and the prisoners would agree to be repatriated.

The first contingent of the CFI left Madras by sea, on 18 August 1953, and reached Inchon on 14 September. The fifth contingent, which was also the last, left on 5 September, reaching on 28 September. They were housed in canvas tents, in three groups, at a place known earlier as Tong-Jong-Ni. Thorat gave it the name Hindnagar, which soon became well known. The prisoners were housed in compounds, with each accommodating about five hundred. Each compound had tents for living, kitchen, dining hall, and latrines. There was a double wire fence around each compound, with the space between them used for patrolling. A number of compounds were grouped together into an enclosure, which also had a double wire fence around it. Initially, prisoners of both sides were quite friendly with the Indian troops guarding them. However, this changed, as soon as some of the prisoners began to ask for repatriation. The other prisoners resented this, and beat up the prisoners, who wanted to surrender to the guards, for repatriation. Sometimes, they even killed such prisoners. The Indian troops tried to prevent such incidents, and this brought them in conflict with the prisoners.

On 25 September 1953 there was an anti India demonstration in one of the camps. Thorat entered the compound, accompanied by a few officers and after talking to the prisoners, left. The prisoners caught hold of the interpreter, Major H.S. Grewal and bodily carried him back into the compound. Thorat turned back and rushed in followed by about a dozen Indian soldiers. The prisoners closed the gates and attacked the Indians held captive inside, with wooden poles and stones, causing injuries to some of them. Thorat gave strict orders to his men not to retaliate since he realised that they were heavily outnumbered. He also ordered the brigade commander, who was out side, not to fire, since this would lead to a massacre, and India's position would become untenable.

Thorat found a POW who spoke English. He started talking to him. He asked them to release Major Grewal, but they refused. Thorat then took out his cigarette case, but it was empty. He said "What sort of Chinese are you? I and my men have been your guests for about an hour but you have not offered us a cup of tea or even a cigarette. Where is your traditional hospitality and the good manners for which your race is renowned?" The prisoner was bewildered at this remark, but soon turned around and barked some orders. Soon afterwards mugs of tea and packets of cigarettes appeared.

The situation changed as if by magic. The Chinese apologised and brought Grewal to Thorat. He accepted their representation and promised to forward it to the NNRC. They formed a guard of honour, and cheered lustily as Thorat left the compound followed by the Indian troops. This incident received wide publicity in the world press. After his return to India Thorat was awarded the Ashoka Chakra Class II (now called the Kirti Chakra), and the Padma Shri for his courage, composure, and presence of mind in preventing an ugly situation which could have caused several deaths.

On 15 October 1953, 'explanations' started. A large number of North Korean and Chinese prisoners, captured by the UN Command, had refused to be repatriated. The KVA-CPV Command contended that this was because false information had been given to the prisoners regarding the conditions prevailing in their homelands. They argued that if they were given a chance to explain things to them, they would change their minds. This was to be done by teams from the parent nations, who would be allowed to talk to each prisoner, in camera. Each prisoner had to undergo the process of 'explanation', but was free to make his choice, regarding repatriation.

When the explanations started, the prisoners refused to come out of their compounds. Thorat and his troops had a difficult time, trying to persuade them to come out. Sometimes, they had to use force, to bring the prisoners to the explanation tent. The prisoners often spat on the members of the explanation team, or beat them up. Sometimes, they even tried to rough up the guards. If force was used by the troops, they were denounced by the Swiss and Swedish members of the NNRC, who considered it a violation of human rights. On the other hand, if the CFI did not do this, the Czech and Polish members accused them of not giving adequate protection to the explanation teams. Ultimately, on the insistence of the Swiss and Polish members, who threatened to with draw if force was not used, the matter was referred to the Government of India. It was decided that no force should be used, and prisoners were to be given explanations only if they wished to. After the ninety day period for explanations had expired, prisoners were handed over by the CFI, to the side which had captured them. The UN Command released its prisoners, in January 1954. KPV-CPV Command initially refused to take back the prisoners captured by them, but eventually did so. There fate was never known.


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