Republic of Korea’s...
2003 to increase international cooperation in interdicting shipments of weapons of mass destruction, their delivery systems and related materials. This only indicates that the rOK aims at taking more international responsibility and also increasing its global influence. This also includes improved wide area ocean surveillance.
South Korea is surrounded by powerful nations like China, russia and Japan. It is also a very close ally of the US since the North-South Korean divide. Their confrontation still carries on against the backdrop of strategic and geopolitical environment of the region. all the naval attacks in recent times have been from DPrK starting as early as 1967. During 1999, DPrK Korea intruded in rOKÕs sea area 11 times, resulting in casualties and injuries on both sides. The worst incident was when a DPrKÕs submarine torpedo sank a South Korean Navy ship on March 26, 2010, causing the deaths of 46 sailors. DPrK strongly denied any role in the incident, in spite of rOK providing ample proof. There seems to be no other direct threat from any other country in the region. rOK also has the complete support of the US and indirect support of NaTO nations. North KoreaÕs military might may not be capable of fighting a full-scale conventional war against South Korea but it can carry on small-scale random operations along the coast with the backdrop of nuclear capability. North Korea is probably making progress on its Hwaseong-13 intercontinental ballistic missile programme. North Korea has also been testing shortrange missiles which have a range of about 1,000 km. all this is a matter of concern for South Korea and its allies. although rOKN is striving towards a blue water navy, it is also focusing on coastal defence capability. In 2001, South Korea announced a plan for building a Strategic Mobile Fleet (SMF), in order to safeguard its global maritime interests, which was later on scaled down to a group. The aim apparently is to establish an expeditionary Navy capable of overseas operations and countering regional threats to counter regional concerns like ChinaÕs rapid naval build-up and a potential territorial dispute with Japan over South KoreaÕs eastern-most islets of Dokdo. Finally, South Korea has plans to operate a SMF of two aegis destroyer-led squadrons in a decade or so. The first squadron is planned by 2015.
South Korea-US Relations
The US along with the erstwhile Soviet Union was involved in the decolonisation of Korea from Japan after World War II. The Government of South Korea was established after three years of military administration by the United States. The US also sends forces to defend it during the Korean War. after the armistice, South Korea and the US agreed to a ÒMutual Defense TreatyÓ, under which an attack on either country in the Pacific region would bring a joint military response. The treaty was honoured by South Korea during the Vietnam War. rOKN also participates in the Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC). RIMPaC is the worldÕs largest international maritime warfare exercise which is held biennially during June and July of even-numbered years in Honolulu, Hawaii, and hosted by the US Navy’s Pacific Fleet. Pacific Rim nations are invited to participate where potential conflict scenarios which may require naval force-on-force engagements. These include the possibility of China invading Taiwan in the event of its declaration of independence and North Korea pitching against South Korea, US and Japan. Many countries including India are invited as observers. The two nations have strong economic, diplomatic and military ties. a free trade agreement was also reported to be having been signed between them during 2007. at the 2009 G-20 London summit, President barack Obama called South Korea Òone of americaÕs closest allies and greatest friendsÓ.
Indo-South Korean Relations
During the Korean War, India sent military medical staff as part of the UN force to support South Korea. Formal diplomatic ties were established between both the countries in 1973. Since then many trade agreements have been signed including the Free Trade agreement. Starting with $530 million in 1992-93, it touched $19 billion in 2012. The two countries have set a new trade target of $40 billion by 2015. bilateral investment is about $4 billion. IndiaÕs Defence Minister a.K. antony and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh have visited South Korea to strengthen the ties. During a talk in the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies in May 2013, Joon-gyu Lee, the ambassador of South Korea in India, stated: ÒKorea did not miss to recognise the new profile of India and evinced much interest in building strong bilateral ties on a range of issues. India has also realised the importance of Korea as a partner in the emerging geopolitical scenario. A definite step in this direction was taken when the two countries established ÒLong-term Cooperative Partnership for Peace and ProsperityÓ in 2004. The two countries started an annual Foreign Policy and Security Dialogue to deliberate on regional and international security issues. Subsequently, the two countries laid the foundation for defence cooperation, by signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation in defence industry and logistics in 2005 and another MoU on cooperation between the Coast Guards of the two countries in 2006. The real turning point in bilateral relations came in the year 2010, when Korea and India upgraded their relationship to a Ôstrategic partnershipÕ.Cognizant of the importance of economic relations in the overall framework of strategic partnership, both Korea and India put in force the Comprehensive economic Partnership agreement (CePa). With these two landmark agreements, the two countries laid down the strong foundation for the future development of bilateral relations. He stressed on the importance of defence cooperation in evolving strategic partnership. ÒThe defence cooperation between the two countries, among others, also envisages cooperation of defence equipment, transfer of technology and joint research and development.Ó
Some other key aspects of defence cooperation are:
of joint naval exercises and military consultations.
programmes, which include exchange of defence related experience and information, mutual exchange of visits by military personnel and experts including civilian staff associated with defence services.
2012, India posted a permanent Defence attachŽ in its embassy in Seoul, signifying the importance of defence cooperation in evolving strategic partnership. So far the Defence attachŽ in Japan also looked after South Korea.
defence cooperation between the two countries, among others, also envisages cooperation of defence equipment, transfer of technology and joint research and development.
in humanitarian assistance and international peacekeeping activities. MoU signed with the Defence research and Development Organisation (DrDO) and Vice Commissioner, Defence acquisition and Procurement agency (DaPa) of South Korea, with the aim to identify futuristic defence technology areas of mutual interests and pursue research and development work in both the countries. It also envisages co-development and co-production of defence products with Indian industry through DrDO.
Amphibious landing ship ROKS Dokdo (LPH 6111) in the Sea of Japan