Indonesia's President to visit North and South Korea in June

Indonesia 's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will visit North Korea and South Korea early next month to discuss ways to reduce nuclear tensions on the divided peninsula, officials said Wednesday. The president will be in the North Korean capital on June 5-6, where he hopes to discuss the nuclear crisis with leader Kim Jong Il and other senior government officials, said Garibaldi Sujatmiko, head of the presidential press office.

Sujatmiko declined to comment on whether it has been confirmed that Kim Jong Il would attend meetings with the Indonesian president. Yudhoyono will then visit Seoul on June 7-9 to meet with his counterpart Roh Moo-hyun.

Ties have warmed significantly since a meeting of North and South Korean leaders in 2000, but tensions persist over the North's nuclear ambitions. The two Koreas remain technically at war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a cease-fire rather than a peace treaty.

Indonesia is also trying to arrange reconciliatory talks between high-ranking North and South Korean officials in Bandung , a city 150 kilometers (90 miles) southeast of Jakarta , later this year. Further details about those talks were not available. Yudhoyono postponed his visit to South and North Korea last month because of scheduling problems. Indonesia 's first president, Sukarno, was a close friend of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's late father, Kim Il Sung, reports the AP.


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