President Pratibha Patil arrived in Seoul on Sunday on a three-day visit during which she will hold crucial talks on matters of mutual interest, including nuclear commerce, defence and trade, aimed at strengthening bilateral ties with South Korea.
Patil was given a red-carpet welcome at the Air Base in Seoul amid synchronised beating of drums by a contingent of about 100 young men and women dressed in colourful traditional attire and defence uniforms.The group also played the Indian national anthem to welcome the President and her entourage and fired the ceremonial canon fire.The President, who is on a week-long tour of Korea and Mongolia will meet her counterparts in both the nations.
On the first leg of her visit in Seoul, she was received by Korean Second Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Min Dong-Seok, among other senior officials.
Patil is accompanied by her husband Devisingh Shekhawat, parliamentarians, and senior government officials.
The visit to both the East Asian nations are part of country’s ‘Look East Policy’ aimed at furthering mutual relationships with them.
South Korea, a manufacturing hub, is known for being a home to companies like LG, Samsung, Hyundai and Daewoo — renowned for producing world class electronic appliances, automobiles, and other Information Technology based products.
South Korean President Lee Myung bak had in January last year visited India as a chief guest at the country’s Republic Day celebrations.
Patil will stay in Korea till July 26 and attend a host of programmes including a meeting with the local business community.
The President will strongly pitch for civil nuclear cooperation with her Korean counterpart during the visit.
She will also pay floral tributes at the statue of Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore near Seoul on the occasion of his 150th birth anniversary. The statue was inaugurated by Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar during her visit to the country in May this year.
The Indian community in Seoul is estimated to be about 8,000 and over 1,000 Indian IT professionals or engineers are working in Korea. Besides, about 500 Indian scientists or post-doctoral research scholars are working in this country.
Patil will leave for Mongolia on July 27. She will be the first Indian President to visit the North East nation in 23 years.