Date: Jul 13, 2023
India-South Korea Strategic Partnership in the Indo-Pacific: The Way Forward

Yoon Suk Yeol announced Korea’s Indo-Pacific Strategy, which indicated a proactive strategic outlook, expressed interest in the Quad working groups, and promised to actively join in alliance coordination in the Indo-Pacific.

In this regard, it is opportune and timely for Seoul and New Delhi to discuss ways towards substantive progress in our mutual special strategic partnership at the bilateral, minilateral, regional as well as multilateral levels going forward.

The roundtable discussion aims to review the ROK's Indo-Pacific Strategy and India’s strategy on the Indo-Pacific, and seek ways to cooperate amid intensifying geo-strategic and geo-economic competition between the United States and China in the Indo-Pacific region.


15:00 – 15:10

Opening Remarks

Harsh Pant, Vice President, Studies and Foreign Policy at Observer Research Foundation, India CHANG Jae-bok, Ambassador of Republic of Korea to India
15:10 – 16:20

Session 1: Korea’s Indo-Pacific Strategy and India-ROK Special Strategic Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific

Speakers: WOO, Jung Yeop, Director General, Strategy Planning, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea Jagannath Panda, Head, Stockholm Center for South Asian and Indo-Pacific Affairs, Sweden LEE Su-jin, Team Leader, Future Strategic Studies, Korea Institute for Defense Analyses, Republic of Korea Premesha Saha, Fellow, Strategic Studies Programme, Observer Research Foundation, India Moderator: CHO Wondeuk, Assistant Professor, Department of Asian and Pacific Studies, Korea National Diplomatic Academy (KNDA), Republic of Korea Open Discussion: All Invited Experts The strategic environment in the Indo-Pacific has been increasingly polarized and complicated due to the intensification of US-China strategic rivalry and the Ukraine war. Many countries in the region are struggling to navigate this great power competition. In this session, participants share their perspectives on the ongoing strategic developments and changing regional dynamics in the Indo-Pacific and explore ways to strengthen the ROK-India special strategic partnership in the coming 50 years.
  • What is India's position in relation to the changing landscape of US-China strategic competition in the region?
  • What is India’s Quad strategy? What are India’s key priorities for the Quad?
  • What are India’s priority issues and what are the potential areas for cooperation between India and South Korea?
  • How does the ROK fit with India’s overall strategic outlook on the Indo-Pacific?
  • What are India’s strategic priorities and expectations in engaging ROK in the Indo-Pacific cooperation? What are the key challenges and opportunities in ROK-India cooperation in Indo-Pacific regional affairs?
  • Among the nine priorities of efforts identified under Korea’s Indo-Pacific Strategy, what are India’s priorities, and what areas of cooperation would you like to propose as concrete action plans for cooperation with the ROK? (
  • What are the main characteristics of India’s strategy in the Indo-Pacific? Are there any nexuses between South Korea's Indo-Pacific Strategy and India’s Indo-Pacific vision (e.g., Indo-Pacific Ocean Initiative)? What are the concrete practical areas and agendas of cooperation between the two states?
  • What needs to be done to facilitate the ROK-India cooperation in the Indo-Pacific regional and strategic affairs? From an Indian perspective, what should be the priorities for the ROK to engage in the Quad and the broader Indo-Pacific strategic affairs? And finally, what does ROK need to do to strengthen strategic cooperation with India?
16:20-16:30 Break
16:30 –17:30

Session 2: ROK-India Economic/Technological/Defense Industry Cooperation in Indo-Pacific

Speakers: KWAK Sungil, Director, Department of Economic and Security Strategy, Korean Institute of International Economic Policy (KIEP), Republic of Korea Jhanvi Tripathi, Coordinator, Think20 India Secretariat and Associate Fellow, Geoeconomics Studies Programme, Observer Research Foundation, India Kartik Bommakanti, Senior Fellow, Strategic Studies Programme, Observer Research Foundation, India CHO Wondeuk, Assistant Professor, Department of Asian and Pacific Studies, Korea National Diplomatic Academy (KNDA), Republic of Korea Moderator: Rajeswari Rajagopalan, Director, Centre for Security, Strategy and Technology (CSST), Observer Research Foundation, India. Open Discussion: All Invited Experts Recently, the strategic narrative in the Indo-Pacific region has been shifting from “de-coupling” to “de-risking.” Nevertheless, like-minded countries in the Indo-Pacific that share a vision and interest are strengthening cooperation in key supply chain sectors, advanced and emerging technology fields, and defense industries. In this context, this session aims to explore how the strategic development of economic and technological security in the Indo-Pacific region is evolving. Additionally, it seeks to examine the extent to which South Korea and India can collaborate in response to these changes, identify areas of cooperation and discuss opportunities between Seoul and New Delhi in the fields of economy, supply chains, technology, defense, and development cooperation in South Asia and the Indian Ocean in the future.

Venue Address

ORF Conference Room, 20, Rouse Avenue Institutional Area, New Delhi