Indians in Korea

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Indians in Korea
주한 인도인
Regions with significant populations
South Korea10,414 (2013)[1]
North Korea363 (2015)[2]
English · Various Indian languages · Korean
Hinduism · Christianity · Buddhism · Jainism
Related ethnic groups
Indians in Japan · Indians in Russia

Indians in Korea consist of migrants from India to Korea and their locally born descendants. A majority of them live in Seoul while there are smaller populations living in other parts of Korea.


According to the 11th century legendary chronicle Samguk Yusa, Heo Hwang-ok, the consort of Suro of Geumgwan Gaya was originally a princess from a kingdom called Ayuta. In the 20th century, Kim Byung-Mo, an anthropologist from the Hanyang University, identified Ayuta with Ayodhya in India based on phonetic similarity.[3] Heo Hwang-ok is considered an ancestor by several Korean lineages, which has led to Korean interest in Ayodhya, resulting in the construction of a Memorial of Heo Hwang-ok there.[4][5]

Korean War[edit]

The Indian army provided a medical unit to attend the sick and wounded in the Korean War. With the communist invasion of South Korea in 1950, the UN sent out a call to the free world for assistance. India decided not to get involved militarily but contributed a medical unit, the 60 Parachute Field Ambulance which served in Korea for a total of three and a half years (Nov 1950- May 1954), the longest single tenure by any military unit under the UN flag.

They were involved in providing medical cover alternately to the US Army/ROK forces and the Commonwealth Division under the UN Command as well as the local civilians, and earned a very well-deserved title, "The Maroon Angels". The unit also looked after the North Korean POWs. The highlight of the tenure undoubtedly was when the unit provided an ADS and a surgical team (7 officers and 5 Other ranks) during Operation Tomahawk, an airborne operation launched on 21 March 1951 by the US Army’s 187 Airborne Regimental Combat Team.

Towards the end of the Korean War in 1953, a reinforced brigade known as the Custodian Force of India was deployed for the repatriation of the prisoners of war and was deployed for almost two years (1953–54).

After the Division of Korea[edit]

South Korea has been gaining popularity among Indian expatriates. Since the 1970s, many Indians have been coming to the South Korea and now there are about 7,006 Indians as per International Migration Report, living and working in the country.

According to officials of the Indian mission in South Korea, over 1,000 engineers and software professionals have recently come to South Korea, working for large conglomerates such as LG, Hyundai and Samsung, which have today become household names back in India.[6][7] There are also around 125 Indian scientists and post-doctoral research scholars working or conducting research at various institutions in the country. Indian companies are also making inroads in South Korea. The agreement between Indian and South Korea on IT will leverage the IT software capabilities of India and IT hardware capabilities of South Korea, resulting in an increased flow of IT professionals between the two countries.

Skilled IT Professionals and Researchers[edit]

Recently there has been influx of many skilled IT professionals and researchers due to investment in emerging technologies by major companies.[8][9] South Korean companies are now keen to employ Indian engineers from IITs and are offering them salaries that are impressive even by western standards.[10][11] The companies are also extending support for free housing and food.[12]

Organisations and associations[edit]

Some of Indian associations in South Korea include "IndiansInKorea" (also known as IIK) with more than 5000 members (, the "Indian Association of Korea" with mainly professionals as members, and the "Annapurna Indian Women's Association".

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Major indicators of Korea, South Korea: Korean Statistical Information Service, 2009, p. 262, retrieved 2011-03-21
  2. ^ "World Migration | International Organization for Migration". Retrieved March 25, 2017.
  3. ^ Choong Soon Kim (2011). Voices of Foreign Brides: The Roots and Development of Multiculturalism in Korea. AltaMira. p. 34. ISBN 978-0-7591-2037-2.
  4. ^ Korean memorial to Indian princess, 6 March 2001, BBC
  5. ^ Legacy of Queen Suriratna, 6 Dec. 2016, The Korea Times
  6. ^ More Indian Techies in South Korea.
  7. ^ IT professionals dominate Indian diaspora in South Korea.
  8. ^ "Samsung Electronics to set up AI research center".
  9. ^ "Samsung tops at IIT campus placements while Microsoft dips in its hiring numbers".
  10. ^ "Samsung places 10 IIT-B students in S Korea for 150,000 USD".
  11. ^ "IIT placements: Google, Samsung offer top salaries".
  12. ^ "Samsung places 10 IIT-B students in S Korea for 150,000 USD".

External links[edit]