Indian warships visit Busan after Exercise Malabar 2016
In a demonstration of India’s ‘Act East policy’ and Indian Navy’s increasing footprint and operational reach, Indian naval ships Sahyadri, Shakti and Kirch under the Command of the Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet, Rear Admiral S.V. Bhokare, YSM, NM have arrived on June 21, 2016, at Busan on a four-day visit, as part of deployment of the Eastern Fleet to the South China Sea.
During the visit, the Indian Navy ships will have professional interaction with the Republic of Korean Navy towards further enhancing cooperation between the two forces. In addition, calls on senior government and military authorities, sporting and cultural interactions and sharing of best practices, aimed at strengthening ties and mutual understanding between the two navies, are also planned. The visiting Indian Navy ships are also likely to conduct exercises with the Korean Navy, aimed at enhancing interoperability in communication as well as search and rescue procedures, post departure from Busan. INS Sahyadri is commanded by Captain K.S. Rajkumar, INS Shakti is commanded by Captain Gagan Kaushal and INS Kirch is commanded by Commander Sharad Sinsunwal.
Bilateral relations between India and Korea have been reinforced in modern times by political and economic imperatives. Traditionally close bilateral relations were given an impetus with the visit of President Park Geun-hye to India in January 2014 and reciprocal visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Korea in May 2015. Bilateral trade and economic cooperation between the two countries has been forging ahead steadily and has progressed leaps and bounds in recent years. Both countries have signed a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, with special emphasis on shipbuilding and electronics hardware manufacturing.
Defence and security relations between India and Republic of Korea have evolved steadily over the years and have received a renewed impetus with the visit of a delegation led by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in April 16. Subscription to training courses, participation in multi-lateral seminars/forums, reciprocal port visits, high-level delegations and training exchanges have bolstered naval cooperation between the two countries.