Indonesian President Urges N Korean Transparency on Missile Issue

By Arientha Primanita-and Antara 16 May 2012

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono underlined the importance of dialogue and communication to solve the problems in the Korean peninsula when he met with North Korea’s Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly Kim Yong Nam on Tuesday in Jakarta.

“Yudhoyono underlined that for whatever the problem is, misunderstandings should be avoided through dialogue and communication,” Foreign Affairs Minister Marty Natalegawa said on Tuesday in a press conference regarding the visit.

Marty said Kim Yong Nam had explained to Yudhoyono that there were misconceptions about the launch of its communications satellite.

“In response to that information, Yudhoyono underlined that all parties should communicate to avoid misunderstandings,” he said. “Indonesia thinks there should be transparency and communication related to all problems in the Korean peninsula.”

Marty said the two leaders did not further discuss the satellite launch or human rights violations.

North Korea launched what they insisted was a satellite in early April, but the US and its allies said it was a barely disguised missile test.

Regarding the UN’s resolution concerning North Korea’s satellite launch, Marty said Indonesia respected it but did not consider isolating the country a solution.

“Indonesia respects the UN resolution on North Korea,” he said. “But aside from the resolution, we want to establish communication, we are not justifying what happened in North Korea, but we see the possibility to fix it with communication instead of isolation.”

Indonesia is one of the few countries that maintains good relations with both Koreas. It has repeatedly sought to assist international efforts to establish peace in the Korean peninsula, but has so far not been involved in formal discussions.

“Our relations are good and have a long history. The visit of your Excellency President Kim this time marks a new milestone in efforts to enhance our cooperation and the partnership between the two countries in the future,” Yudhoyono said.