06 June 2015
On his recent trip to the Republic of Korea, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Park Geun-Hye upgraded bilateral ties to a “special strategic partnership” and pledged to expand defence cooperation, with Modi hard selling his ‘Make in India’ initiative. The two countries, however, have their work cut out.
India-South Korea relations received a major boost in May when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that bilateral relations would be upgraded to a “special strategic partnership.” This makes South Korea the second East Asian country to be awarded such status (after Japan).
With an aim to elevate bilateral defence and security ties, India and South Korea agreed to hold the bilateral joint diplomatic and security dialogue in a 2+2 format: their foreign and defence ministers to meet annually to consult on security and political issues. Korea is the second country to receive this consideration (the first being Japan). With these moves, Modi tried to signal yet again “how seriously” India takes its new framework of engagement with the east, dubbed “Act East”. This new framework is rooted in India’s ‘Look East’ policy of the 1990s and has primacy of place in the current government’s outreach strategy.
… Sumitha Narayanan Kutty is Associate Research Fellow, South Asia Programme at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 16/11/2015