Sources within the Indian Navy (IN) informed the media that the joint naval operation, conducted by both the Indian and South Korean navies will start from tomorrow onward, in the Korean port city of Busan. An official with the Indian Embassy in South Korea said that the Indian naval fleet had reached Busan on May 29. The fleet is composed of two warships, the Soviet built Kashin class guided missile destroyer INS Rana, and the Shivalik class frigate INS Shivalik.
On May 29, a small South Korean delegation, including naval officers, seamen and schoolchildren greeted the Indian contingent in Busan. A number of senior officials from the ROKN, including Rear Admiral Kim Dong Sik, visited the vessels on May 30. The Indian diplomatic staff present during the ceremony termed the naval visit a major diplomatic move and claimed that measures like this will help to solidify and expand the military co-operation between the armed forces of both India and South Korea.
Rear Admiral P Ajith Kumar, who is leading the Indian delegation also held meetings with several high ranking Korean officials, including Hur Nam-sik, the incumbent mayor of Busan. Rear Admiral Kumar is the current commander of the IN’s Eastern Fleet. Vishnu Prakash, the Indian ambassador to South Korea also took part in many of the ceremonies and meetings held this week by the naval staff.
As a part of the diplomatic initiative, visits were arranged for the Korean public inside the Indian vessels. A large number of Korean civilians, including many children made use of the opportunity to get familiarized with the Indian naval vessel.
The Indian fleet is currently undertaking an extended journey across the South-east Asian and East Asian regions. The fleet has already visited ports in Singapore and Vietnam. After visiting South Korea, the vessels will be undertaking a journey to Japan, to take part in another joint naval operation there. Visits to China and Malaysia are also scheduled after the Japanese program