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S. Korea offers to help Indonesia develop nuclear power+
[April 03, 2006]

S. Korea offers to help Indonesia develop nuclear power+

(Japan Economic Newswire Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)JAKARTA, April 3_(Kyodo) _ Visiting South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki Moon said Monday that his country has offered to help Indonesia develop nuclear power.

"We hope that both (South) Korea and Indonesia will be able to conclude a nuclear energy cooperation agreement as soon as possible," Ban said.

"We are one of the countries with high technology and know-how in this area. I hope that as one of the areas in mutual cooperation, Indonesia can benefit from such know-how and technology," he added.

Ban made the remarks in a joint press conference with his Indonesian counterpart Hassan Wirajuda after bilateral talks.

According to Wirajuda, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono expressed interest in building a nuclear power plant after a visit to a South Korean nuclear energy facility in Busan last year.

"President Yudhoyono has been very much impressed by the technology of South Korean nuclear energy," Wirajuda said.

He said that while no timetable or site has been decided, "certainly we are following with keen interest progress made by (South) Korea on nuclear energy development."

He added that possible cooperation in energy would also cover geothermal energy.

South Korea also offered to assist Indonesia in maritime security in the Strait of Malacca, which is also a vital route for many South Korean Ships.

During the briefing Ban also mentioned his candidature for the position of U.N. secretary general, saying that although the Association of Southeast Asian Nations has already determined its candidate, which is from Thailand, it should not be seen as a kind of rivalry between South Korea and ASEAN countries.

Yudhoyono is expected to pay an official visit to Seoul in the coming month, while South Korean President Roh Moo Hyun is slated to visit Jakarta later this year.

South Korea is Indonesia's third largest trading partner, while Indonesia is South Korea's ninth largest trading partner.

Indonesia has also played an active role in trying to convince North Korea to return to the six-party talks on its nuclear ambitions.

Ban said a recent visit to Pyongyang by an Indonesian special envoy has created "a very good atmosphere between the two parts of Korea."

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