N. Korea Complains to Indonesia Govt Over Human Rights Symposium

A picture released by the North Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) on 10 March 2014 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un casting a ballot at a polling station at the Kim Il-sung University of Politics in Pyongyang, North Korea, 09 March 2014, to elect the Supreme People's Assembly. (EPA/KCNA)

By : Jakarta Globe | on 8:26 PM February 11, 2015
Category : News, Human Rights

Jakarta. North Korea has lodged a diplomatic protest with the Indonesian government over a South Korean symposium on human rights in the secretive dictatorship held in a Jakarta hotel on Tuesday.

North Korea's ambassador to Indonesia, Ri Jong Ryul, said he had filed a protest with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the State Palace as well as Joko Widodo's political party and even Interpol.

"Indonesia and North Korea have been very close so far, please stop such symposiums that denounce our country. We respect the dignity and sovereignty of other countries," Ri said in Jakarta on Wednesday, as quoted by Indonesian news portal Tempo.co.

The international symposium hosted by the South Korean Human Rights Commission, the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) and the Asean Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), was held in the Sultan hotel on Tuesday.

The symposium was attended by the South Korean ambassador to Indonesia, Cho Tai-young.

Ri said he has filed a protest before the event began.

"However, prior to the symposium commencing at 11 a.m [the government of Indonesia] had not responded to our diplomatic note," Ri said.

Ri said that a repeat of such an event could damage bilateral ties between Indonesia and North Korea, adding that Tuesday's event promoted rumors and hatred against North Korea.

Rafendi Djamin of AICHR said he had been informed of North Korean's objection and that a North Korean diplomat came to the symposium to read a protest statement in front of journalists covering the event.

"I heard North Korea was disappointed they were not invited to this event," Rafendi said.

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