Indonesia invites North Korea to attend Asian Games

Indonesia invites North Korea to attend Asian Games

Jakarta and Palembang will co-host the 18th Asian Games, Aug 18 to Sept 2, 2018. (ANTARA FOTO/Akbar Nugroho Gumay)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian president`s special envoy Puan Maharani has visited Pyongyang to submit an invitation to the North Korean government to attend the Asian Games.

Maharani, the coordination minister for human development and culture, handed over the invitation to the President of the Presidium of the Supreme People`s Assembly of North Korea Kim Yong Nam at the Mansundae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang on July 30, 2017, according to a press statement from the Indonesian Embassy in Pyongyang on Tuesday.

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) invited North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un to attend the opening ceremony of the Asian Games in Jakarta on August 18, 2018.

During the meeting with Kim Yong Nam, Maharani noted that the Asian Games can offer the necessary momentum to strengthen friendship and peace, including efforts to bring lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.

The coordination minister for human development and culture said the Indonesian government has welcomed Korea`s second plan to form a joint team in several sports at the 2018 Asian Games: women`s basketball, canoe, and rowing.

Maharani revealed that her visit also aimed to strengthen the friendship between Indonesia and North Korea, as both nations have a long-standing historical relationship.

The friendly relations between the two nations were built by first President Soekarno and President Kim Il Sung. The relationship continues to be fostered and developed by the next generation until this day.

On the occasion, Maharani, the granddaughter of Soekarno, congratulated the North Korean government and people on the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of North Korea on September 9, 2018.

In response, President of North Korea Presidium Kim Yong Nam expressed gratitude to President Jokowi on the invitation and will soon present it to Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un.

Kim Yong Nam also lauded President Widodo and the people of Indonesia for supporting the peace efforts on the Korean Peninsula.

At the meeting, Maharani also handed over the three Asian Games mascots -- Bhin-Bhin, Atung, and Kaka -- to Kim Yong Nam.

North and South Korea are two of the 45 countries participating in the Asian Games 2018.

As a follow up of the Panmunjom Declaration, the two Koreas will compete in several sports as a Korean team and march together under the unification banner at the opening ceremony and closing of the 2018 Asian Games.

Reporting by Yuni Arisandy
Editing by Otniel Tamindael