India and Korea are two great Asian civilisations. Both have played major roles in the evolution of peace ethos and have strong tradition of working together in the past. Once again it is becoming imperative that they jointly take the lead in shaping the post-American world order in East Asia.

Prime Minister Modi’ s winning of the 2018 Seoul Peace Prize is an opportunity for India to unite with Korea and strive towards ensuring peace and prosperity for all.

The balance of power in East Asia is shifting rapidly. U.S., who held peace in the region for the last 65 years, is being pushed back. Mostly China is occupying space left by the U.S. in all fields, be it military, economic and cultural among others. This has the danger of creating a huge imbalance in the region leading to friction and instability Given this Chinese expansion There is no way any Asian can match China economically or militarily in East Asia.

However, there is one area where we are unmatched: our unparalleled traditions of building and promoting peace in Asia. We are countries of peace. Teachings by our spiritual leaders are real assets and essential tools to reshape and build the post-American world order.

While China is building a Belt and Road of cement and concrete, we can build our own Belt and Road of peace and prosperity; uniting the whole of East Asia under the banner of “PEACE AND PROSPERITY FOR ALL.” The Korean traditions of Hongik Ingan, living for the good of others, can lead us deep into such a peaceful and prosperous future.

Today Korea is the biggest flash point in the world where the possibility of nuclear war is very real. By starting our peace work from Korea we can unite all countries in our region which share our concerns of nuclear catastrophe.

Through Modi, India is being given a golden opportunity to return to its Asian roots ― Peace. Its philosophical tradition of “may there be peace in the heavens, peace in the atmosphere, peace on earth, and “whole world is one family” appeals to many countries. The Seoul Peace Prize is India’s chance to restore its centuries-long spiritual connections with this region and the world at large.

Together and united we will build a new post-American world based on the principles of “universal peace and prosperity” as propagated by our spiritual leaders. Let us also remember that peace building is not just an abstract idea for academic use; rather it can bring material benefits when applied on the ground. The idea of positive peace is much more than only the absence of violence. It can reinvigorate whole societies and create limitless opportunities for growth and prosperity for everyone involved.

The Seoul Peace Prize awarded to India’s Prime Minister offers a new expansion of the discourse on peace building on the Korean peninsula as part of a larger global effort to contain conflict. PM Modi’s visit to Seoul immediately before the Trump-Kim Summit in Vietnam is rapidly taking on tremendous geopolitical significance. Now the core question before us is how might this opportunity expand Indian engagement on the Korean peninsula and what directions it might go. How deeply do policymakers of both counties comprehend the potential this prize offers us all? Or will this opportunity be wasted?

A seminar to discuss and explore the future potential cooperation between our great counties was organised by The Asia Institute on Feb. 11 in Seoul. This seminar led by Prof Emanuel Paste rich and supported by Prof. Lakhvinder Singh from the Asia Institute, Zena Chung from the India- Korea business and policy forum and Kislay Kumar from “The Right Discourse,”considered concrete fields for cooperation where India and Korea can play a more active role in peace building in our conflict-ridden region and world.

Other prominent participants in the seminar included Donald Krik, a Seoul-based scholar and journalist and Ingil Jacob from Global Peace Foundation who appreciated the new larger role India has to play in this part of the world. Distribution of Ladoos, traditional Indian sweets used to mark happy occasions in India, increased the serenity of the event much fold.

Work for building stronger Korea- India strategic Partnership never stops.