International Affairs



It gives me great pleasure to receive from His Excellency President Kim Dae-Jung, the Letter of Credence accrediting you as Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to India. Please convey to His Excellency the President that I fully reciprocate the kind sentiments expressed by him, and that I would like to extend to him my warm regards and best wishes for his personal health and well-being, as well as for the prosperity and happiness of the people of the Republic of Korea. I also extend a warm and cordial welcome to you.

The contacts between our two peoples have been historical as well as contemporary. The philosophy of the Buddha has enriched our lives and thoughts and continues to provide an enduring link. We recall that several centuries ago an Indian princess from Ayodhya married King Suro Kim. Thus a romantic halo has surrounded the interaction between our two ancient civilizations.

I am confident that our traditional bonds of friendship and goodwill will grow further in the coming years. Our shared values of democracy and freedom offer a sound basis for a cooperative relationship between India and Republic of Korea into the 21st century.

We were happy to receive Prime Minister Kim Jong Pil in February. His visit has provided a fresh impetus to our relationship.

As fellow Asians, we take pride in the success of other Asian nations. In a little over a generation, Korea has transformed itself from a war-ravaged country into a full-fledged industrialised state. We have noted with interest the dynamic economic reforms being followed under the able leadership of President Kim Dae-Jung. The patriotism, courage and resilience of the Korean people and the far-sighted and pragmatic reform initiatives being implemented by the Korean Government will recapture the sheen of what has been called the Korean miracle.

We have just commemorated 25 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations. Our relations in diverse fields have developed steadily and encompass a wide range. Our economic and commercial interaction continues to be expanded and diversified. Our bilateral trade turnover is now US$ 2 billion. Republic of Korea's participation in the India Engineering Trade Fair in February 1999 was a significant milestone that has provided new opportunities for the business communities on both sides for greater economic cooperation. It is heartening that the private sectors of our countries are actively involved in giving a thrust to our bilateral cooperation and Korean companies are making significant investments in India. Increased contacts between our business representatives have created greater awareness of each other's requirements and capabilities.

Both India and Republic of Korea are active participants in multilateral forums. We share concerns and views on a wide variety of issues. Closer cooperation in the UN bodies, WTO and other multilateral forums would be in our mutual interest.

As a large and diverse economy, in addition to working closely with our SAARC neighbours, we are developing new partnerships in our larger neighbourhoods. The Asia-Pacific region is in India's immediate neighbourhood. India continues to sustain close and cordial relations with countries of this region and will work for peace and stability in the region and for the development of regional cooperation.

We are following the developments on the Korean peninsula closely. We have noted the Sunshine Policy towards the Democratic People's Republic of Korea being pursued under the leadership of President Kim Dae-Jung. India is interested in the maintenance of peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. India favours reduction of tension leading to the reunification of the two Koreas through peaceful means and through dialogue.

We are committed to working with the Republic of Korea to build a stable, long term cooperative relationship on the basis of goodwill and mutual benefit.

Excellency, you are taking up your assignment in India at an important stage in the relations between our two countries. I am sure that with you will be in a position to contribute significantly, to the strengthening of our multi-faceted cooperation. I assure you that in this task, you will receive the fullest cooperation and assistance of our Government. I wish you a successful and pleasant term of duty in India.

Thank you

Jai Hind