Tuesday, 07 December 2021 | 21:19 WIB

Korean Peninsula Conflict Should be Viewed from a Wider Perspective

Teguh Santosa, Secretary General of the Indonesia-Korea Friendship Association (PPIK) (right)

JAKARTA, NETRALNEWS.COM - Teguh Santosa, Secretary General of the Indonesia-Korea Friendship Association (PPIK), says the conflict in the Korean Peninsula should be viewed from a wider perspective. The conflict is not just attributed to tension caused by a North Korean weapons test or sparked by joint military exercises South Korea and the United States. 

The statement was delivered in the 2017 Conference on Indonesian Foreign Policy (CIFP) at Kota Kasablanka, Jakarta, Saturday (10/21/2017).

The event is titled Asia's Hot Spots: Rohingya, North Korea, Marawi, and ISIS. The event is presented by MetroTV journalist Andini Effendi.

In addition to Teguh Santoso, several other speakers were also present, including Director of Regional and Multilateral Cooperation at BNPT Andhika Chrisnayudhanto, Prof. Richard Heydarian from De La Salle University, Senior Advisor for Human Rights Working Group Rafendi Djamin, researcher from the Philippines Development Academy Jamil Maidan Flores, and Amnesty International Indonesia Director Usman Hamid. 

The speakers during the event are those who have been focusing on human rights issues in Marawi, the Philippines, and Rakhine, Myanmar.

Teguh said he had repeatedly visited North and South Korea to gain an adequate understanding of the conflict since the end of the Second World War, and had experienced culmination in the Korean War between 1950 and 1953.

"Journalism requires journalists to know the facts, and that encourages them to continue to know about Korean Peninsula conflict from first sources, including repeated visits to the two countries.

"There is an iron law: do not tell me the words, just show me the numbers," said Teguh Santosa who is also Chairman of the Indonesian Cyber Media Association (SMSI).

Teguh reminded the event’s participants, which are mostly students with interest in global issues and foreign policies, that relying solely on one-sided news, let alone blasted messages from social media that cannot be accounted for, could lead to wrong conclusions.

"There are still many who believe that all men in North Korea should have the same hairstyle as Kim Jong Un. This is an example of a growing mistake in Korean society, "said Teguh, a lecturer of East Asian political subject at Universitas  Islam Negeri (UIN) Syarif Hidayatullah, Jakarta.

Therefore, it must be realized that the world is currently experiencing a new tension. Thus, the effort to have the ability to concoct creativity in designing foreign policy is very important for Indonesia and ASEAN. In addition, the current situation has the opportunity for Indonesia and ASEAN to not only to be a middle power, but also a leading power, said Teguh Santosa who currently serves as Chairman of the Foreign Affairs at the Indonesian Journalists Association (PWI).

"In the Cold War era, the conflict on the Korean Peninsula was an expression of containment politics between two camps fighting over and defending the hegemony of the United States and the Soviet Union," he said in response to a number of participants after the discussion.

"The conflict in the region is an inseparable part of a new conflict between the United States that wants to maintain hegemony in the region, with the People's Republic of China, which has succeeded in becoming a new challenger over the last decade.

"North Korean weapons testing, including a test of a hydrogen bomb on early September, is an effort to maintain a balance of power. However, North Korea feels it must balance the forces that they think have been threatening them.

"The joint military exercise between South Korea and the United States on the border is a real threat for North Korea. However, there are not many news to see from that perspective, "he explained.

Another conclusion Teguh derived from his interaction with North Korea so far, is that North Korea seeks to create peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula based on talks by leaders of both Koreas in the past.

So according to Teguh, North Korea is not closed at all, but is implementing the strategy of 'mosquito nets'. With this net, North Korea can observe the situation outside the country, and at the same time provide an opportunity for outsiders to observe them, while preventing ‘mosquitoes’ enter the country,” he said.