Jakarta delegation delivers Asian Games invite to Kim Jong Un


North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been invited to attend the Asian Games opening ceremony in Jakarta by a team of Indonesian officials who visited the hermit kingdom.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been invited to attend the Asian Games opening ceremony in Jakarta by a team of Indonesian officials who visited the hermit kingdom. PHOTO: AFP

JAKARTA • Indonesia has invited North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to attend the opening ceremony of the Asian Games in Jakarta this month, following a similar invitation to South Korean President Moon Jae-in, officials said.

North and South Korea are likely to be a focal point of the Games, particularly amid recent doubts over Mr Kim's promise to work towards denuclearisation, which he made during a summit with United States President Donald Trump in Singapore in June.

Ministers from the two Koreas agreed in April to push for a unified delegation from both countries to parade together in the opening ceremony at the Asian Games, to be staged in August and September.

Indonesian officials, led by Coordinating Human Development and Cultural Affairs Minister Puan Maharani, visited North Korea this week, meeting Mr Kim Yong Nam, the nominal head of state and president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly.

Ms Puan also discussed North and South Korea relations during the visit, as well as regional issues.

Mr Kim Yong Nam reportedly conveyed his government's appreciation to President Joko Widodo for the invitation and said he would soon present it to leader Kim Jong Un.

He added that he also appreciated Indonesia's support for peace efforts on the Korean peninsula.

The Pyongyang visit follows the delivery of a similar invitation in Seoul last week.

 
 

President Moon "will consider attending, with circumstances such as future schedule in mind", said Blue House spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom.

Mr Joko offered in April to host a summit between North and South Korea, after meeting ambassadors from both Koreas.

The two countries marched under a unified flag at the opening and closing ceremonies of February's Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

The Asian Games, co-hosted by the cities of Jakarta and Palembang, are expected to see a further cementing of that partnership.

Deputy National Police chief Syafruddin, who was among the Indonesian delegation in Pyongyang, said that Indonesia guaranteed security to all countries and contingents present at the Asian Games.

"Indonesia's security is very stable. Don't worry or hesitate," said Mr Syafruddin, who like many Indonesians goes by only one name.

REUTERS, THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 01, 2018, with the headline 'Jakarta delegation delivers Asian Games invite to Kim Jong Un'. Print Edition | Subscribe