Jakarta Summit: Indonesia should bid to host the third Trump-Kim meeting

The first and second summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un were both held in Southeast Asia.

Now that Kim Jong Un has signalled that he is up for the third summit — after the ‘failed’ second summit — Indonesia, a country that once bid for the first summit, should once again express its interest to host the very important meeting.

Not only that this could support Southeast Asian/ASEAN project to be the “Zone of Peace, Dialogue, and Diplomacy”, but this will also contribute to Indonesia’s image in the world as a truly partner for peace.

“A true partner for world peace” should not only be a slogan — or even a mere campaign slogan for Indonesia’s bid for UNSC non-permanent seat 2019–2020. I believe that Indonesia is bigger than that.

Indonesia has good diplomatic relations with all countries involved in the dialogue as well as countries surrounding the Korean Peninsula, namely North Korea, South Korea, US, China, and Russia.

Indonesia’s good relationship with North Korea — and other aforementioned countries — is an asset. Not every country in Southeast Asia managed to nurture the friendly relationship.

Malaysia, for example, has severed friendly relations with North Korea after the assassination of Kim Jong Nam. Philippines, serves as another example. The exchanges in any sense possible between the two countries are very hard to find. Brunei and other CLM (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar) countries are either not very interested or all caught up in their own business. This serves as a good opportunity for Indonesia to bid as a host for the third meeting.

While Kim Jong Un is reportedly planning to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Vladivostok in a matter of days, South Korean President Moon Jae In is on a trip to Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan to gather support for the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula. China also reportedly invites North Korea to attend the Second Belt and Road Forum which will be held on April 25–27, where Vladimir Putin will most likely attend, as reported by media.

Indonesia, having good relationship with China, Russia, South Korea, US, and most importantly North Korea, should seize the opportunity this time in hosting the third summit. Previously, an Indonesian foreign policy NGO has taken part by awarding Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae In for their “courageous” effort to establish peace in the Korean Peninsula. That was a good gesture and good start for Indonesia’s further involvement in this peace process.

Indonesia’s foreign policy non-governmental organisation awarded North Korea and South Korea for their efforts to establish peace in the Korean Peninsula through their respective ambassadors in Jakarta.

Another alternative would be the involvement of the multilateral/regional organisation, ASEAN. As Indonesia plays a very important role in ASEAN, sometimes dubbed as the de facto leader of the bloc, utilising the bloc’s advantage as a platform for dialogue is also a good idea.

This is also because North Korea is a regular participant of the annually held ASEAN Regional Forum, a (regional) security dialogue which North Korea chooses as the only multilateral security dialogue to join.

If Jakarta is to host the third Trump-Kim Summit, not only that Jakarta is one step further in becoming ASEAN’s Diplomatic Capital, but maybe its one of Jakarta’s first steps in becoming the world’s diplomatic capital.

International Relations enthusiast

International Relations enthusiast