India’s potential strategic partnership with South Korea in the Indo-Pacific

By Amigos IAS

Why is it in the news?

The historic Camp David summit in August this year among the leaders of the United States, Japan, and the Republic of Korea (ROK) marks the new beginning of the strategic partnership among the three traditional allies.

Geopolitical Developments in East Asia:

  • Recent geopolitical developments in East Asia include the South Korea-Japan-U.S. trilateral meeting at Camp David, indicating a repair in Seoul-Tokyo relations.
  • The summit could strengthen the U.S.-led alliance structure in East Asia, along with AUKUS, the Quad, or CHIP 4 Alliance.

Seoul’s Changing Approach:

  • South Korea’s new strategic direction in the Indo-Pacific involves improved relations with Tokyo, alignment with the U.S. on China, and enhanced engagement in the region.
  • There is a shift from Seoul’s traditional approach of avoiding offense to China, indicating a willingness to address the China challenge.

ROK’S Desire to join the QUAD:

  • South Korea is keen on joining the Quad grouping, and the Camp David summit may have paved the way for its bid.
  • The new South Korean President’s foreign policy vision includes playing a larger role in the Indo-Pacific.

Opportunity for India-ROK Partnership:

  • India and South Korea are commemorating the 50th year of their diplomatic relations, presenting an opportunity to reimagine their ties.
  • South Korea’s location in the Indo-Pacific and its status as a U.S. ally make it a like-minded strategic partner for India.
  • Both countries share concerns about China’s rise and its attempts to reshape the Asian security landscape.

Areas of Collaboration:

  • India and South Korea could establish an annual summit at the level of Foreign Ministers and explore a 2+2 format dialogue.
  • Collaboration in the defence sector, including co-production of military equipment, is an area of potential growth.
  • Collaboration on Korean-built civilian nuclear reactors could help India expand its clean energy sources.
  • South Korea, with its new strategic outlook, can contribute to advancing India’s interests in the Indo-Pacific, along with the U.S., Japan, and Australia.


·       AUKUS is a new trilateral security partnership for the Indo-Pacific, between Australia, the UK and the US (AUKUS).

·       Under the pact, the US and the UK will help Australia to acquire conventionally armed nuclear-powered submarines.

·       The pact also includes cooperation on advanced cyber, artificial intelligence and autonomy, quantum technologies, undersea capabilities, hypersonic and counter-hypersonic, electronic warfare, innovation and information sharing.


Ø  AUKUS aims for freedom and openness in the Indo-Pacific region, including the South China Sea.

Ø  AUKUS partnership is signed to bolster Australia’s naval power in the Indo-Pacific region as a challenge to the regional hegemonic ambitions of China.

Ø  The operationalisation of this security partnership will lead to closer military coordination among the participating nations in the region.

Ø  China’s encirclement of India can be partially mitigated by AUKUS.

Ø  India may derive secondary benefits from having top of the class military know-how in the region.


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