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Sanket Telang asked: What role can India play in Current Crisis in Korean Peninsula? Shouldn't India support South Korea as it is our major trading partner?

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  • Rajaram Panda replies: India’s role in the recent developments in the Korean peninsula is limited. True, South Korea is one of our major trading partners and India is sympathetic to South Korean cause vis-à-vis North Korea. In fact, the MEA appreciated the restraint with which South Korea handled the findings of the investigation team that found Pyongyang’s hand in the sinking of South Korean naval vessel Cheonan in March 2010. While India has diplomatic relations with North Korea, it is concerned about Pyongyang’s suspected nuclear links with Myanmar and Pakistan. Our economic ties with South Korea are strong. South Korea’s commitment in the Indian market can be discerned from the fact that POSCO has not withdrawn from the over Rs. 50,000 crore steel project from Orissa despite it failure to acquire the 5,000 acres of land for the project. Therefore political turbulence in the Korean peninsula will have little impact on Indo-South Korean economic ties and India’s role will remain limited in the political domain.