President Moon Jae-in on Monday began the first official engagement of his state visit to a South Asian country, by meeting with India's foreign minister ( ) Sushima Swaraj, where he discussed his vision for the New Southern Policy.
Moon said South Korea's ties with India have been developing consistently, since they upgraded their bilateral relations to a "special strategic partnership" in 2015, and added that he would like to expand their cooperation.
His plan aims at deepening ties with India and other countries in the region to build a future partnership for what he dubs the three P's: People, Prosperity, and Peace.
Minister Swaraj welcomed President Moon's visit and said the Indian government also wanted to strengthen its relationship with South Korea.
And this, an Indian expert says, is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's push for his "Act East Policy."
"If you try to understand India's 'Act East Foreign Policy', ASEAN is actually the center of India's 'Act East Foreign Policy'. We have a range of contact with ASEAN, be in connectivity, stronger economic ties, be it political contacts, and be it also security and defense contact with some of the ASEAN members. (cut) And that actually establishes common ground with India's policy and Moon Jae-in's 'New Southern Policy'."
The researcher called President Moon's foreign policy very pragmatic, and said the Moon-Modi summit will not only pave the way for better South Korea-India cooperations on the bilateral level, but also on the regional level.
A Korean expert in the field also emphasized that the role of India goes beyond economics.
"India, among the BRICS countries is the only nation that has productivity, marketability and serves as a base to go out to the Middle East or Africa. India is a hub for politics, economy, defense and diplomacy."
The expert urged the Korean government to approach India not only as an emerging market, but to view it as a closer diplomatic partner that can bridge the gap in Asia in many ways.
Cha Sang-mi, Arirang News.