In News: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Minister of National Defence of South Korea Suh Wook at the inauguration of the Indo-Korean Bilateral Friendship Park in Delhi cantonment, on 26 March 2021.
About Indo-Korea Friendship Park
- The park has been built to commemorate the contribution of Indian peacekeeping force during the Korean war of 1950-53.
- Park includes an entrance gate made in Korean style, a jogging track, well landscaped garden and an amphitheatre.
- Developed in joint consultation with the Ministry of Defence, Government of India, Indian Army, Delhi Cantonment Board, Embassy of Korea and Korean War Veterans Association of India.
- The park’s significance
- Symbol of strong India-South Korea friendly relations
- Monument to India’s contributions as part of 21 countries which participated in Korean war 1950-53, under the aegis of the United Nations.
- One of the pillars in the park encompasses Nobel Laureate Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore’s narration of Korea as “The Lamp of the East” which was published in Korean daily “Dong-A-ilbo” in 1929.
India’s Role In Korean war 1950-53
- India under Nehru was involved in negotiating peace in the Korean peninsula by engaging all the major stakeholders – US, USSR and China.
- In late 1952, the Indian resolution on Korea was adopted at the UN with unanimous non-Soviet support. But India, recognized without the Soviets resolution will fail and India makes efforts to get them on board, which happened in 1953.
- Despite the rough international political climate, India succeeded in building consensus – which precipitated in the “Armistice Agreement”.
- Follow-up actions to the Armistice Agreement was the establishment of a Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission (NNRC).
- UN Command led by an Englishman and a Custodian Force from India (headed by Lt.Gen Thimayya) was also deployed in the inter-Korean border.
- NNRC’s tenure ended in early 1954, and the Indian forces were praised internationally for executing the tough stabilising operations successfully.
- Indian Abode – At the end of its work, the NNRC was left with over 80 prisoners of war who didn’t want to go to either of the Koreas.
- As an interim arrangement, Nehru decided to grant them abode in India until the UN directive on their request is pronounced.