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Jakarta Post

Jokowi campaigns for peace, stability on Korean Peninsula

  • Haeril Halim

    The Jakarta Post

Manila   /   Sat, April 29, 2017   /   08:26 pm
Jokowi campaigns for peace, stability on Korean Peninsula Closer ties: ASEAN leaders take a picture after the signing of an ASEAN Declaration in Manila, the Philippines, on April 29. They are (from left to right): Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, Thailand Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-O-Cha, Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, and Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, and ASEAN secretary general Le Luong Minh. (Antara/Rosa Panggabean)

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo took the stage at the ASEAN Summit in Manila, the Philippines, on Saturday to call on the members of the regional block to unite to push North Korea to take steps to reduce escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Speaking before the 10 leaders of the ASEAN countries during a retreat at the summit, Jokowi emphasized Indonesia’s commitment to maintain peace and stability in the region. “ASEAN must send strong messages to North Korea to make it comply with all UN Security Council resolutions,” he asserted.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula grew stronger on Saturday after North Korea made another failed ballistic missile test, just days after the United States sent warships to waters in the area in an apparent show of force against the communist regime.

(Read also: Myanmar complies with int’l recommendations on Rohingya crisis: Suu Kyi)

President Jokowi called on all parties to refrain from doing anything that could further worsen the tensions in the region. “Stability and peace must be returned to the Korean Peninsula,” Jokowi told the forum.

Jokowi said he would meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping in the near future and express Indonesia’s hopes that China, one of North Korea’s allies, would take a part in reducing tensions.

In addition, Jokowi also asked ASEAN members to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea, where China and four ASEAN member countries were engaged in territorial disputes.

Jokowi hoped that the framework for a code of conduct (COC), a document of provisions to prevent conflict in the disputed waters, could be finished by the middle of this year. Indonesia is a non-claimant in the dispute, but has a direct interest in maintaining peace and security in the region. (ebf)