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Indonesia envoy will tell N. Korea of missile concern

Written by: Staff

JAKARTA, July 6 (Reuters) Indonesia is concerned North Korea's test-firing of missiles could increase tensions on the peninsula, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said today ahead of a visit by an Indonesian special envoy to Pyongyang.

North Korea test-fired at least seven missiles on Wednesday, alarming its north Asian neighbours and drawing international condemnation.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is due to go to North Korea later this month. The envoy, Nana Sutresna, is visiting Pyongyang from Thursday partly to help prepare for that trip, but officials said he would also raise the missile issue.

Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Desra Percaya said Jakarta was concerned about the missile test-firings ''because the step can magnify the tension in the Korean peninsula''.

Indonesia also wants another round of six-party talks among the two Koreas, the United States, Japan, China and Russia ''implemented soon to diminish the tension'', Percaya said.

Those on-again off-again discussions have been mainly related to North Korea's nuclear programmes and other nations' fears that they have military aims.

Sutresna, a veteran diplomat who visited Pyongyang earlier this year, is expected to meet a North Korean Foreign Ministry official on Thursday night and Kim Yong-nam, president of the Stalinist nation's parliament, on Friday.

Indonesia has previously offered to play a role in diplomatic efforts directed at Pyongyang.

Jakarta had close ties with North Korea during the 1950s and 1960s under then-president Sukarno and has maintained relatively good relations under Sukarno's more pro-Western successors.

President Yudhoyono postponed planned visits to North and South Korea in June after a May 27 Java quake killed more than 5,000 people and he took on direction of relief efforts.


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