India-Korea Friendship Park

On 26th March, 2021, Indian Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh and South Korea’s Minister of National Defence, Suh Wook inaugurated the opening of the first India-Korea Friendship park at Delhi Cantonment, New Delhi. The Ambassador of the Republic of Korea, as well as a delegation from South Korea, were present.

Source: @westerncomd_IA on Twitter

Wook also visited the Indian Army’s 60 Para Field Hospital. During the 50s’ Korean war, the hospital had provided medical aid to the UN and South Korean forces. The India-Korea Friendship park was built in honour of such supportive acts from Indian peacekeepers during 1950-53. In turn, Wook obliged by paying his tribute to Indian war heroes at the National War Memorial

The India-Korea Friendship Park

Source: @westerncomd_IA on Twitter

The Indian Army, Union Defence Ministry, Government of India, Delhi Cantonment Board, Embassy of Korea and Korean War Veterans Association of India were involved in the development of the park. The park encompasses 6 acres of land with a Korean-style gate at its entrance. The green area houses a jogging track and an amphitheatre along with a garden. It also includes a larger than life black marble statue of a handshake between South Korea and India. 

Additionally, a colossal statue of General KS Thimayya was built in the park. He was responsible for leading the Indian party as the Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission Chairman. The contingent received its first UN assignment under him and was in charge of assembling unrepatriated prisoners of wars. The 5 pillars placed around his statue detail the activities that the 60 Parachute Field Ambulance undertook during the Korean war. One of the pillars even mentions Rabindranath Tagore’s speech where he called Korea “The Lamp of the East.”

Source: @westerncomd_IA on Twitter

Others attending the inauguration ceremony of the India-Korea Friendship park were Chief of Defence Staff General, Bipin Rawat, Army Chief General, MM Naravane, Navy Chief Admiral, Karambir Singh, Air Chief Marshal, RKS Bhadauria and members of the Korean War Veterans Association of India.

Demonstration By Indian Army’s Paratroopers

Furthermore, to celebrate Wook’s three-day visit to India, he was invited to a half-hour exercise by 650 of the Indian Army’s paratroopers in Agra the next day. It was supervised by the Indian Army Chief General, MM Naravane. 25 paratroopers fell from an aircraft at 12,000 ft to show off their combat free fall. Another unit of 80 men demonstrated static line jump by falling from an aircraft at 1,250 feet.

Source: indiatoday.in

Wook was in the country to improve the defence ties as well as military cooperation between the two countries. South Korea has also been the supplier of the majority of Indian weapons and military equipment. Back in 2019, the two countries had also created a road map that would enable the joint production of their land and naval systems.

Were you surprised by the close bond that India and South Korea share? Did you know that some of us can also trace our ancestry back to Korean royalty? Well, it looks like we’ve been in close contact way before the Hallyu Wave took the world by storm. Let us know your thoughts on it in the comments below.