Strengthening India-Korea ties
At the time India played a pivotal role in helping Korea to get out of that tumultous situation. With the communist invasion of South Korea in 1950, the UN sent out a call to the free world for assistance. India decided not to get involved militarily but contributed a medical unit, the 60 Parachute Field Ambulance (60 PFA) which served in Korea for a total of four years.
Acknowledging the contribution made by India during the Korean war, an exhibition at the Embassy of the Republic of Korea took place in the national Capital on Tuesday showcasing sixty years of close association with India. It showcased 23 photographs, 2 silver flutes and a bugle, which was used by Korean War Veterans during the Korean War in 1950. The occasion was graced by the presence of Cho Hyun ,ambassador of the Republic of Korea to India, Vikram Doraiswami - ambassador of India to Korea and was joined by the Head of the Korean War Veterans and officials of the Indian army.
Throwing light on India’s role in the Korean war, Cho Hyun, said, “Korea was fortunate to have India, the source of an ancient and noble civilization, as a friend during the war. Without India’s support Korea would not have become what it is today”.
Seeing the importance of these images for Korea, the Indian parachute medical unit donated all the showcased items to the Korean Government. This was a very proud moment for the both countries. The future of India-South Korea bilateral relations looks promising. Apart from deepening economic and security, defence cooperation, there is a new political understanding between the two countries.
Both the countries have discovered a commonality of strategic interests, experience and belief that are strengthening bilateral ties sharing a somewhat similar historical experience. The strategic history of India with the Northeast Asia remained disjointed for almost four decades since the end of the war despite the important role played by the 60th Parachute Field Military Ambulance Platoon. A mobile army surgical hospital that treated more than half of the wounded soldiers, an average of 250-300 civilians a day, during the UN operations in late 1951, is still remembered with a lot of admiration and appreciation in South Korea.