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Indian Army chief Gen Manoj Pande is in South Korea; Here's why

The visit aims to strengthen bilateral defense cooperation, particularly in defense manufacturing. General Pande engaged in dialogues with high-ranking South Korean military officials, fostering mutual understanding and contributing to the Indo-Pacific region's security architecture

Indian Army chief Gen Manoj Pande is in South Korea; Here's why
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First Published Nov 23, 2023, 11:07 PM IST

Indian Army Chief General Manoj Pande, who is in South Korea on a 4-day tour, was on Thursday briefed at the joint security area and demilitarised zone about the security aspects in the highly sensitive zone. Gen Pande also visited a drone combat unit and was briefed on the border management and surveillance facility. "The visit has been instrumental in fostering mutual understanding, exchanging views on the regional security situation and strengthening bilateral defence cooperation on a host of strategic issues of bilateral importance," the Army said. 

Besides, he also visited the Cyber Command, where he was briefed on effective response to the increasingly advanced & sophisticated cyber threats.

Sources in the Indian Army told Asianet Newsable, "His visit is very important from the defence production perspective and the geopolitical shift towards the Indo-Pacific."

"The aim is to seek collaboration from South Korea in areas in which they are strong in defence manufacturing." sources added. 

On the day he was proceeding to South Korea, the Army had stated that the key highlights of his tour included 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 sources also said that the Chief also held discussions with several senior officers of the ROK Army and received briefings on issues of mutual interest. 

"The engagements aimed to foster mutual understanding and contribute to the overarching security architecture of the Indo-Pacific region," added the sources.

He began his tour on November 20, which is a momentous day in the history of India-ROK relations. Seventy-three years ago, 60 Para Field Ambulance of the Indian Army had landed in Busan, to provide much-needed medical support during the Korean War.

Besides the 60 Para Field Ambulance, the Indian Army had also provided a Brigade Size Force to function under the United Nations in the Korean War. The force was named ‘Custodian Force’ and operated under the Neutral Nations Repatriation Committee. Both sides accepted the Indian Army as a neutral force and the role of the Indian Army was commended by all.

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