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The planned meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore in June has been cancelled and it was colored with tension and uncertainty. However, North Korea has shown its seriousness to close the Punggye-ri nuclear site in North Hamgyong Province. So seriously, North Korea blew up three tunnels and supporting devices that international media journalists witnessed on Thursday (May 24, 2018). A journalist who was present said that the explosion was seen in three tunnels and could be spotted from close observation around 500 meters away.

The presence of international media journalists at Punggye-ri nuclear sites has been reported by South Korea's News Agency –Yonhap. Some journalists of South Korea, the United States, China, Russia and England were present last Tuesday. Yonhap also mentioned that North Korea will destroy underground tunnels and other facilities on the site.

But the tension still happened because North Korea had threatened to stop the dialogue, when it was alleged, the United States and Korea South launched joint military exercises. Mike Pompeo's mission to keep inviting North Korea to the next stage seemed to succeed after North Korea wanted to destroy its nuclear facilities. The destruction was conducted by North Korea after the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un.

The meeting itself took place in a friendly atmosphere. But in the midst of a less conducive atmosphere, US Vice President Mike Pence made a statement to the media on Monday (May 21) that could have damaged what Pompeo has been trying to do.

The United States pledged to help North Korea and not overthrow North Korean regime if North Korea would stop its nuclear program. President Trump then issued a statement through tweeters that sadly, President Donald Trump was forced to cancel the 4-eye meeting with Leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore.

We certainly hope that even though the planned meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore next June was canceled, goodwill towards peace that has begun to grow should be followed-up next. We encourage that there should a meeting which is based on mutual trust. If the issue on the Korean Peninsula is over, there are still problems in other regions around the world that must also be dealt with.


The organizing committee of the upcoming 18th Asian Games (INASGOC) has claimed that the opening ceremony stage of the upcoming 18th Asian Games will be the largest and heaviest compared to other Olympic or Asian Games.

"The opening (ceremony) stage of the 2018 Asian Games will be the biggest one in the world even compared to any Olympics, including the height, size and weight of its construction," Wishnutama, Creative Director of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Asian Games, said here on Sunday.

The 18th Asian Games will be held from Aug 18 to Sept 2, 2018, in Jakarta and the South Sumatra provincial capital city of Palembang. The performers of the opening ceremony of the Asian Games still undergoing training in Jakarta and a number of regions in Indonesia, he said.

"We involve nearly 10 thousand dancers so we should spread the locations of their practice sites before holding a joint exercise at the opening ceremony location," he disclosed.

INASGOC involves dance directors Denny Malik and Eko Supriyanto in the opening and closing ceremonies of the Asian Games, besides the music director Addie MS and Ronald Yunardi and fashion stylist Dynand Fariz and Rinaldi Yunardi, he explained. Denny said he has trained around 250 dancers from 18 senior high schools in Jakarta, adding that they would showcase Indonesian cultural dances packed with the modern elements. In addition, Eko Supriyanto has also trained about 2,000 dancers across Indonesia including the professional, students and art students.

In the meantime, INASGOC also involves 5,500 performers and 141 musicians in the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2018 Asian Games. The number of workers involved in the performance reached 4,241 local workers and 233 foreign workers. The Asian Games 2018, to be participated by 45 countries, will feature 462 events of 40 sports, of which 32 are Olympic sports and eight are non-Olympic sports. ( antara ) 


Indonesia is set to welcome Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was scheduled to pay a state visit to the Southeast Asian country on May 29-31. Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) was expected to welcome PM Modi at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta, Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Sunday.

PM Modi`s visit will be his first visit to Indonesia as a return visit to President Jokowi`s. The president had paid state visits to India on December 2016 and during the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit in January 2018.

Jokowi and Modi were expected to discuss bilateral, regional and global issues during the meeting at the palace. Both leaders will also discuss bilateral issues in various fields of cooperation such as politic, defense and security, maritime affairs, economy, people to people contact and culture.

Some Memoranda of Understanding of cooperation are expected to be signed during PM Modi`s visit to Indonesia. PM Modi`s visit also aims to welcome the 70th anniversary of Indonesia-India diplomatic relations to be commemorated next year.

During Modi`s visit to Indonesia, there will be an Indonesia-India CEO Forum to be participated by CEOs from both countries which will discuss some recommendations to President Widodo and PM Modi.


The Saudi Arabia authority has allowed Indonesia`s customs to check hajj pilgrims` identity by using biometrics in home country`s embarkation, according to Indonesian Minister of Religious Affairs Lukman Hakim Saifuddin. He believes that the arrangement will cut queues during security check in Saudi.

"All this time, our hajj pilgrims should wait for hours to queue, both in Jeddah or Madinah airport, now it can be checked in our hajj embarkation," he said here on Saturday night.

The Minister was thankful for Indonesian government`s effort in convincing Saudi`s customs to permit such policy to improve security system`s efficiency. By using biometrics in the hajj dormitory, the Indonesian customs will verify each pilgrim`s fingerprints and iris scans, as well as travel documents. Hence, they just need to queue for passport stamp upon arrival in Saudi.

Besides cutting queues, Saifuddin said such system will allow Indonesian hajj pilgrims to have more time to rest after a long hour flight. In near future, the biometrics system will be fully regulated in 18 hajj embarkations in Indonesia.