South Korean President lauds India's role in 1950 hostilities

Oracle

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NEW DELHI: As South Korea prepares to mark 60 years of the outbreak of the Korean war, its president, Lee Myung-Bak, has warmly remembered India's support and contribution to the defence of the south after hostilities broke out on June 25, 1950.

President Lee has said the freedom of the Korean republic was put to a historic test in the face of an invasion by the communist North Korea. The conflict was the "first large-scale military confrontation that pitted the democratic bloc against the communists after the end of the second world war," he said.

Shedding light on India's role in the Korean war, the president said, "Korea was fortunate to have India, the source of an ancient and noble civilization, as a friend during the war." While India's participation in the war on behalf of the south is not well known, Lee recalled the role of 60th parachute field ambulance platoon with a staff of 627 medical personnel.

"The medical unit headed by Col Rangaraj valiantly rushed to the aid of wounded soldiers in the face of a fierce crossfire. For its distinguished service, the unit received citations of merit from the Korean government on a number of occasions. Had it not been for the devoted services and sacrifices of the Indian people, Korea would not have become what it is today," said Lee.

The president said that medical personnel from India provided vital assistance at a time when his country was laying the foundation for freedom. "We have always remembered their sacrifices and pledged they would not go in vain. Koreans are proud of the achievements of the Republic over the years and hope that Indian people are equally proud," he said.

Lee recalled that the United Nations had dispatched combat troops drawn from 16 nations and medical support from support groups from five countries. They fought to defend the freedom of "a country they never knew and a people they never met".

The president touched on the recent torpedoing of South Korean corvette Cheonan by the north and appreciated the active cooperation and support from India. "Responding to the North's provocation reminded both countries of the importance of bilateral ties," he said. The goal of his country's policies was not to confront Pyongyang but persuade it to alter its course of action.

President Lee said the south's objective was to bring about a peaceful reunification of the Korean nation. "The Korean peninsula has been synonymous with confrontation and division for too long. It must be transformed into a catalyst for regional and international peace," he said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Seoul-lauds-Indias-help-in-1950/articleshow/6072928.cms
 

Oracle

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I did not know it, nor do most of the members in here I guess. It is time GoI declassify old records, so that we can learn and understand our past in a better way.
 

anoop_mig25

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forget its not going to happen because india`s left,right and centre parties are one on this i.e not to reveal their secret to masses.
 

AkhandBharat

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Its good to know that Korea recognized India's contribution but this is nothing new. Indian peacekeeping forces commitments are well-known around the world. And this was tertiary support, albeit a very important one. China would've converted Korea to another vietnam, had the south lost the war.
 

amoy

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India also mediated the peace negotiation btwn the US and China during the Korean War. That elevated India's standing in between the West and the East Blocs at that time.
 

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