Yoon to hold summit with Indonesian president Thursday

SEOUL– President Yoon Suk-yeol will hold a summit with Indonesian President Joko Widodo in Seoul this week and discuss cooperation in defense, infrastructure and other areas, the national security adviser said Monday.

Widodo will arrive Wednesday and hold summit talks with Yoon on Thursday at the invitation of the South Korean president, Kim Sung-han said during a press briefing.

During the summit, the two leaders “will discuss bilateral cooperation in various areas, including defense, infrastructure and economic security,” Kim said, adding there will also be “in-depth discussions” on South Korea’s upcoming Indo-Pacific strategy and its collaboration with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Kim said Indonesia is the only ASEAN member to have a special strategic partnership with South Korea, accounting for 41 percent of the bloc’s population and 34 percent of its total gross domestic product.

The country is also a member of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, alongside South Korea, and plays an important role for the stability of supply chains involving core minerals.

Widodo’s visit is expected to not only strengthen relations between South Korea and Indonesia but also mark “the proper beginning of the Yoon Suk-yeol government’s diplomacy with ASEAN,” Kim said.

Indonesia has yet to pay its share of the cost of a joint fighter development project due to what it claims are economic difficulties.

A presidential official said the issue will likely be discussed during the upcoming summit but that he is hopeful it will be resolved “soon,” given Indonesia’s strong commitment to the project, dubbed KF-21.

The official backed his claim by pointing to the fact that 39 Indonesian technicians have been sent to work at Korea Aerospace Industries, which is responsible for the project.

Widodo’s two-day visit to South Korea will also include a meeting with businesspeople, visits to a Hyundai Motor research center and a war memorial, a joint press conference with Yoon, and a banquet, where they will be joined by their wives and businesspeople.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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