President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol, who will be inaugurated as the 20th-term President of the Republic of Korea on May 10, called on India on May 6 to use its seat on the U.N. Security Council to draw a united international response to North Korea's provocations.
According to a spokesman of Yoon, the new Korean President made the request during a meeting with lady ambassador, Madam Sripriya Ranganathan, at his office, while expressing his thanks for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's congratulatory message following his election.
According to Yoon’s Spokesperson Bae Hyun-jin, Yoon said aid to Ambassador Sripriya: "Regarding North Korea's repeated provocations, the new government will keep its door open to dialogue but respond firmly to provocations."
Bae also quoted Yoon as saying, "As a non-permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, I hope India will cooperate closely to draw a united response from the international community."
North Korea has conducted a series of weapons tests this year, including an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test in March that ended its years-long self-imposed moratorium on nuclear and ICBM tests.
The bilateral relations between Korea and India boast long-standing ties of extreme closeness in historical, cultural and various other areas, spanning over two millennia.
Korea and India forged diplomatic relations in 1973, paving the way for a sound and steady development in bilateral relations across a wide range of areas, including politics, economy and culture.
The signing of the Korea-India Special Strategic partnership in 2015 and the launch of New Southern Policy in 2017, a policy that is in sync with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi government’s Act East Policy, have led to a turnaround in the bilateral ties. The State Visits of President Moon Jae-in to India in July 2018 and of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Korea in February 2019 have further taken the bilateral ties and friendship between the two countries to a new high.
As a newly emerging power, India holds vast potential and opportunities for bilateral cooperation. Nearly 700 Korean business companies, both big and small, have entered the Indian market and increased their investment.
With K-Pop and other Korean Wave contents gaining popularity among the Indian youth, interest of Indian people in Korean culture and language is steadily growing.
In milestone developments, Korean history was included in the Indian school text-books in 2018 and Korean language was offered as a foreign language in Indian secondary schools in 2020.
Around 10,000 Korean nationals are known to live in India and they serve as the backbone of strong bilateral relationship.
About Ambassador Ranganathan:
Ambassador Sripriya Ranganathan of India in Seoul is a career diplomat who joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1994, immediately after obtaining her master’s degree in History, with a specialization in Modern Indian History, from Delhi University.
During her career, Ambassador Ranganathan has held a variety of positions in New Delhi and abroad.
She served in Myanmar as the second in command at the Embassy of India, Yangon. Her other overseas postings were in Ankara and Hong Kong.
During her multiple years’ experience in headquarters, she has served in various capacities in the Ministry of External Affairs as well as in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
She served as Joint Secretary (Director General) responsible for relations with Bangladesh and Myanmar. She has also headed the SAARC Division and the Policy Planning Divisions in the Ministry.
Earlier, she served as Director in the Disarmament & International Security Affairs Divisions and as Under Secretary in the Administration and Europe West Divisions. In the course of her secondment to the Department of Commerce, she served in the Export Promotion (Agricultural Products) & the Trade Policy Divisions.
Ambassador Ranganathan speaks Tamil, Hindi and English and has some knowledge of Turkish.
She is deeply interested in issues relating to women’s leadership and empowerment and tries to make time for activities related to these issues. Her other interests include reading, hiking, travel, yoga and music.
Ambassador Ranganathan is married to Mukund Santhanam, a financial services professional. They have one daughter. They also have a dog.