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Koreans trace their origins to Suriratna, a princess from Ayodhya

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New Delhi: Millions of Koreans trace their origins to Suriratna, a princess from Ayodhya who had married the Korean king Kim Suro, said a diplomat from the country, adding that a memorial to the princess would soon be upgraded.

At a two-day international conference organized by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), the deputy head of the South Korean embassy Ahn Min Sik said the shared heritage between India and his country began in 48 AD with the Ayodhya princess marrying the Korean king.

“If there’s any country that is closer to India in terms of the shared history, the language, it is Korea,” said the ICCR President Lokesh Chandra, adding that the legend has helped in strengthening the Indo-Korean relations.

“Our history shows the mutual support and partnership these two countries had enjoyed. This has led to an increasing value to our extending partnership in economic, political and cultural entities,” Anil Wadhwa, secretary in the ministry of external affairs said while addressing the conference.

An official statement from the ICCR pointed out that Suriratna had traveled for three months from Ayodhya to Korea by sea and married the Korean king, thus marking the beginning of the Garak clan in Korea.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Seoul in May had also reiterated the importance of this legend in his speech.

“The relationship between the two countries goes back to the first century when an Indian Princess traveled from the kingdom of Ayodhya to Korea by a boat. She married the Korean King Suro and became the first queen of South Korean kingdom. Several Koreans trace their lineage to her,” Modi had said at the India-Korea CEOs Forum.

This tale of the Ayodhya princess was also mentioned in ‘Samguk Yusa’ or ‘The Heritage History of the Three Kingdoms’, a treasured work in Korea which was written in the 13th century.

The book finds a reference to the princess (Suriratna), who after marriage had become Queen Heo Hwang-ok.

The statement from ICCR also mentioned some of the famous descendants of Queen Heo as General Kim Yoo-shin, who had first unified the Korean Kingdom in the 7th century, former president and Nobel Laureate Kim Dae-jung, and former prime minster Kim Jong-pil, among others.

(IANS)

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India Continues Engaging With USA Over H-1B Passport Issue

India is closely engaged with the US administration as well as the US Congress on this matter.

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As Trump proposes changes in H1-B visa, India continues to engage with US

India is continuing to engage with the US over the H-1B visa, largely availed of by Indian IT companies, after the Trump administration proposed changes to the programme, a senior official said on Thursday.

“It is a very important topic for us and that is the reason why we have time and again at various levels, we have taken up this matter with the US side,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in response to queries by journalists here.

Kumar said that most recently, the issue was raised during the first ever India-US 2+2 Ministerial Meeting held here last month that was attended by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Jim Mattis.

On Wednesday, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said that the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) plans to come out with its new proposal by January 2019.

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It will also “revise the definition” of employment and employer-employee relationship to “better protect” US workers and wages Flickr

The DHS said it was also proposing to remove from its regulations certain H-4 spouses of H-1B non-immigrants as a class of aliens eligible for employment authorisation.

The move to end the rule could have an impact on more than 70,000 H-4 visa holders, who have work permits.

The H-4 visas are issued by the USCIS to immediate family members (spouse and children under 21 years of age) of the holders of H-1B visa.

The DHS said it will propose to revise the definition of speciality occupation to increase focus on obtaining the best and the brightest foreign nationals via the H-1B programme.

It will also “revise the definition” of employment and employer-employee relationship to “better protect” US workers and wages, the DHS said.

Donald Trump, India
President Donald Trump speaks about immigration alongside family members affected by crimes committed by undocumented immigrants, at the South Court Auditorium on the White House complex, June 22, 2018, in Washington, VOA

In his remarks on Thursday, Kumar said that India is closely engaged with the US administration as well as the US Congress on this matter.

Stating that there are certain bills which have been introduced, he, however, said that “it is important to note that none of these bills have been passed so far”.

“When we have engaged with the US, we have emphasised that our partnership which we have in the digital sphere have been mutually beneficial,” the spokesperson said.

Also Read: USA And Other Countries Pledge To Eradicate Illegal Wildlife Trade

“We have highlighted the role which has been played by the highly skilled Indian professionals who have actually contributed to the growth and development of the US economy,” he stated.

“And also they have helped the US to maintain a competitive edge in the world towards innovation and science and technology.” (IANS)