Fri, March 06, 2009
World > Asia-Pacific

Indonesia, South Korea vow to step up cooperation in defense, energy, trade

2009-03-06 13:08:32 GMT2009-03-06 21:08:32 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (R) and his South Korean counterpart Lee Myung-bak hold a joint press conference at the Merdeka palace in Jakarta, capital of Indonesia, on March 6, 2009. Lee Myung-bak is in Indonesia for a three-day state visit. (Xinhua Photo)

JAKARTA, March 6 (Xinhua) -- Indonesia and South Korea on Friday pledged to boost cooperation in the fields of defense industry, energy, and trade and investment, leaders of the two countries said here Friday.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his South Korean counterpart Lee Myung-Bak also discussed the situation in the Korean Peninsula, climate change and global economic crisis.

After their meeting at the State Palace, both leaders signed several agreements in the fields of defense, alternative energy, labor and tourism.

The two countries planned to cooperate in the development of jet-fighter projects.

"We both discussed the issue of defense and industry of defense. In the future the relation of the two countries (on this field) is expected to be more active and strengthened," Lee told a joint press conference after their meeting.

Indonesia is an archipelago country which needs sophisticated fighter-planes to safeguard its wide territory of over 17,500 islands. Currently, the country only have around seven Sukhoi jet fighters.

The two countries also vowed to boost investment and trade in the sector of oil and gas, President Susilo said.

"Exploration and production of oil and gas through joint ventures of the two countries would also be boosted," said Susilo.

Indonesia and South Korea also intended to increase bilateral trade in the future, President Susilo said. Currently the trade volume of the two countries was 20 billion U.S. dollars in 2008, nearly twice as much as in 2007, said Susilo.

On the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, Lee called on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to respond positively to the international effort to address the problem.

"I hope DPRK will cooperate through the six-party talks," he said.

During his three-day visit, Lee is slated to meet with Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla, who is also the chairman of Indonesia's biggest party of Golkar, House Speaker Agung Laksono and Indonesia's businessmen on Saturday, before leaving for his country on Sunday.

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