First Lady of South Korea Kim Jung-sook will visit India from November 4-7 during which she will participate in festivities in the religious city of Ayodhya.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said she will be the chief guest at the ‘Deepotsav’ event being organised by the Uttar Pradesh government on November 6.
The Korean First Lady, to be accompanied by a high-level delegation, will also attend the ground-breaking ceremony of the Queen Suriratna (Heo Hwang-ok) memorial in Ayodhya.
“The First Lady’s participation in the festivities in Ayodhya will showcase our close civilisational links as well as the ongoing deepening engagement between our two countries,” an MEA statement said.
According to Korean legends, Princess Suriratna from Ayodhya had travelled to Korea and married King Kim Suro and became Queen Heo Hwang-ok some 2000 years ago.
“India and Republic of Korea share a special strategic partnership. Moon Jae-in, President of Republic of Korea had visited India in July 2018. His visit had imparted new strength to our evolving partnership,” the MEA said.
An MoU regarding the Queen Suriratna Memorial Project was signed to facilitate upgrade and expansion of the existing monument commemorating Princess Suriratna (Queen Hur Hwang-ok).
The legendary Princess of Ayodhya went to Korea in 48 AD and married King Kim-Suro. A large number of Koreans trace their ancestry to this legendary princess.
Preeti Saran, Secretary (East) in the Ministry of External Affairs, said there are also plans to build a monument commemorating the princess.
“Since last year, the Uttar Pradesh government started organising Deepotsav. The UP government also invited the Korean government to participate as a partner country. President Moon said that he will send a high-level cultural delegation to participate in the Deepotsav,” Saran said.
In July, the two countries signed an agreement for expansion of the Suriratna memorial project.