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S Korea to help develop nuclear power in Indonesia

Written by: Staff

Jakarta, Apr 3: South Korea, one of the world's biggest oil and liquefied natural gas importers, wants to help Indonesia develop nuclear power, South Korea's Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon today said.

''We hope that both Indonesia and Korea will be able to conclude a nuclear energy cooperation agreement as soon as possible,'' Ban told a joint news conference with Indonesa's Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda.

''We are one of the countries with high tech technology and know-how in this area,'' he added.

Nuclear power plays an important role in providing an alternative source of energy in South Korea, which imports all of its oil and liquefied gas.

According to the London-based World Nuclear Association, South Korea currently has 20 nuclear reactors providing some 40 per cent of the country's electricity.

Wirajuda welcomed the possible cooperation but gave few details of the plan.

''We visualise that one day Indonesia, too, should develop nuclear energy and certainly Korea is an important potential partner,'' Wirajuda added.

Ban, who is pitching to succeed Koffi Annan as the next United Nations secretray general, said he asked for Indonesia's support.

''There is a wide-ranging consensus of opinions among the member states of the United Nations that the next secretary general...

should come from Asia'' ''I need your support and I'll be honoured if i'll be elected secretary general of the United Nations. I will be fully commited to work for the entire world community,'' he said.

Wirajuda made no comment on the issue, but as a member of ASEAN -- which groups countries in the Southeast Asia region -- Indonesia may support the nomination of another Asian contender, Thailand Deputy Prime Minister Surakiart Sathirathai.


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