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Korea-Indonesia to see golden era of economic, defense cooperation

Korea-Indonesia to see golden era of economic, defense cooperation

Posted October. 14, 2013 06:21,   


“Deep in my mind, I have my father-in-law’s words asking me to follow Korea’s suit.”

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono had a separate meeting with visiting Korean President Park Geun-hye at the presidential palace in Jakarta on Saturday to establish a closer personal relationship. His father-in-law served as the first Indonesian ambassador to Korea for four years after Korea and Indonesia forged diplomatic ties in 1974. His wife Kristiani Yudhoyono also stayed in Korea for two years, and can speak simple Korean phrases. President Yudhoyono visited Korea several times at that time to meet with his current wife, whom he was dating.

President Park reportedly asked the Indonesian president whether he had been happy with romance in Korea. Yudhoyono recalled the past, saying, “Because my wife wrote letters from Korea so many times that I felt like I had been to Mount Seorak and the inter-Korean truce village of Panmunjom where I had never been. I was deeply impressed by the Korean people’s dynamism and commitment to self-reliance.”

President Park Geun-hye also expressed sense of delight by recalling her meeting with Sunariti, Yudhoyono’s mother-in-law, while serving as acting first lady. President Yudhoyono is reportedly visiting Korean restaurants with his family a couple of times a year. His oldest son visited Korea this year as well.

President Park also attended a tree planting ceremony at the garden of the Indonesian presidential palace. The event took place after the Indonesian First Lady suggested President Yudhoyono to implement reforestation by staging a tree planting campaign, which was initiated by former President Park Chung-hee. Indonesian first lady also told, "Let’s make blessing for Indonesia’s efforts for reforestation with President Park Geun-hye.”

President Yudhoyono repeatedly thanked President Park for Korean companies that did not leave Indonesia during the Asian financial crisis in 1998. A source at the presidential office in Seoul said, “President Yudhoyono remembers Korea as a country that is dependable and trustworthy, rather than one that only pursues national interests.”