Tuesday, Oct 04, 2022
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Hyundai Row: South Korean Minister Calls Up EAM Jaishankar, Expresses Regret

South Korea’s ambassador Ambassador Chang Jae-bok was also called in by the Ministry of External Affairs and the government’s 'strong displeasure' was conveyed on the issue of Hyundai, a South Korean brand that posted a photo on Kashmir Solidarity Day from its Pakistani handle.

#BoycottHyundai has been trending since an image purportedly from the Hyundai's Pakistan Facebook and Twitter handles showing support for Kashmir Solidarity Day surfaced.
#BoycottHyundai has been trending since an image purportedly from the Hyundai's Pakistan Facebook and Twitter handles showing support for Kashmir Solidarity Day surfaced. Twitter

India summoned South Korea’s ambassador on Monday to protest the message of solidarity with Kashmir, posted by Hyundai Pakistan. India welcomes investments by foreign companies in various sectors. But it is also expected that such companies or their affiliates will refrain from false andd misleading comments on matters of sovereignty and territorial integrity, Ministry of External Affairs said. 

February 6, in Pakistan, marks  Kashmir solidarity day. This is not a contemporary practice but has been on for over two decades. But this time around, when the Hyundai brand was used in the messaging by the Pakistan affiliate of the South Korean car manufacturer, India got offended.

In Seoul, the Hyundai headquarters was contacted by the embassy and an explanation was sought on the political statement of support for Kashmir made on a social media post by the Pakistan unit of the company.

However, the Hyundai affiliate is not the only one that puts up posts on Kashmir Day.  Some of the other brands include KFC, Pizza Hut, Atlas Honda ltd, Bosh Pharmaceuticals, which also operate from India. 

South Korea’s ambassador Ambassador Chang Jae-bok was also called in by the Ministry of External Affairs and the government’s "strong displeasure’’ was conveyed. The post with the Hyundai logo has since been removed.

"It was highlighted that this matter concerned India’s territorial integrity on which there could be no compromise. We expected the Company to take appropriate action to properly address these issues,’’ MEA spokesman Arindam Bagchi said in a statement released on Tuesday.

During a call by the foreign minister of Korea Chung Eui-Yong to India’s Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, the matter cropped up. The minister "conveyed that they regretted the offence caused to the people and government of India by the social media post,’’ the MEA statement said. The call was a routine foreign ministerial conversation and was not related to the Hyundai post.

A statement was also issued by Hyundai Motors conveying its deep regret to the people of India and making it clear that it does not comment on political or religious issues.
The MEA added for good measure that while India welcomed foreign investments across various sectors, it hoped "companies or their affiliates will refrain from false and misleading comments on matters of sovereignty and territorial integrity.’’

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