New Delhi- India has summoned the South Korean ambassador over the “unacceptable” social media post by Hyundai Pakistan on the so-called Kashmir solidarity day and bluntly conveyed to him that there could be no compromise on the matter as it concerned the country’s territorial integrity.
South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong spoke to his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar this morning and the Korean side regretted the offence caused to the people and government of India by the social media post.
Sending a tough message, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said the South Korean envoy was summoned on Monday and a “strong displeasure” of the government on the social media post was conveyed.
India expected the company to take “appropriate action” to properly address the issue, he stressed.
Bagchi said the Indian ambassador in Seoul contacted the Hyundai headquarters and sought an explanation.
The MEA spokesperson said India welcomes investments by foreign companies in various sectors, but, it is also expected that such companies or their affiliates will refrain from “false and misleading” comments on matters of sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Tweets from accounts linked to Hyundai and its affiliate Kia Corp expressing solidarity with Kashmir separatists triggered outrage in India following which the South Korean firm said it has a “zero-tolerance” policy towards insensitive communication.
“We had seen a social media post on the so-called Kashmir Solidarity Day was made by Hyundai Pakistan. Immediately after this social media post on Sunday, our Ambassador in Seoul contacted the Hyundai Headquarters and sought an explanation,” Bagchi said.
“The offending post had been removed subsequently. The Ambassador of the Republic of Korea was summoned by the Ministry of External Affairs yesterday. The strong displeasure of the Government on the unacceptable social media post by Hyundai Pakistan was conveyed to him,” he said.
The MEA spokesperson was responding to a media query on the issue.
“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,” he said.
“Foreign Minister of Republic of Korea Chung Eui-yong called External Affairs Minister this morning. While they discussed several issues, the RoK Foreign Minister also conveyed that they regretted the offence caused to the people and Government of India by the social media post,” he said.
In a tweet, Jaishankar said:”Received a call from ROK FM Chung Eui-yong today. Discussed bilateral and multilateral issues as also the Hyundai matter.” Bagchi also referred to a statement 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.
“India welcomes investments by foreign companies in various sectors. But, it is also expected that such companies or their affiliates will refrain from false and misleading comments on matters of sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he said.
In Parliament, Union Minister Piyush Goyal said that the government has asked Hyundai Motors to be more forceful in its unequivocal apology over the matter.
Hyundai had issued a clarification after it faced calls for a boycott of its cars, but there have been demands for the company to apologise unequivocally.
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