On the second day of his state visit to India, President Moon Jae-in made a trip with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the National Gandhi Museum in New Delhi. It was President Moon’s first event with the Indian Prime Minister.
The visit to the National Gandhi Museum was the first of 11 joint events scheduled with Prime Minister Modi. During this state visit, a total of 18 major events have been arranged. Today’s visit to the Museum was especially meaningful as it was the first time Prime Minister Modi traveled there with a foreign head of state.
Prime Minister Modi clad in a white traditional Indian dhoti, or sarong, received President Moon at the Museum. After walking over to the World Peace Gong by a statue of Mahatma Gandhi, the Prime Minister first struck the Gong. The President also struck it, smiling broadly. Pointing to the words "World Peace Gong" engraved on the two meter-wide gong, the Prime Minister spoke with President Moon about its meaning.
Afterward, the two leaders walked along the path Gandhi took just before he was assassinated and paid a tribute by putting some red petals before his monument. They then toured the area where Gandhi used to pray.
President Moon said that the Korean people also shared the painful history of their country being colonized and that they held Gandhi in high esteem as the symbol of India’s independence movement and non-violent resistance. The President went on to say that India’s independence movement had been inspired by Korea’s 1919 March First Independence Movement.
President Moon said the Korean Government was pursuing the New Southern Policy designed to significantly bolster bilateral relations with India by boldly expanding the horizon of Korea’s diplomacy in South Asia. The President also expressed the hope that the state visit to India would become an opportunity for the two countries to walk together toward a future partnership for their peoples, mutual prosperity and peace.
President Moon in the National Gandhi Museum guestbook wrote, “Peace is the way. Peace can only be achieved through efforts for peace.”