The Indonesia-Korea Friendship and Cultural Exchange has a New Chairman
From left to right: Chairman of IKFCE Teguh Santosa, Rector of UBK Didik Suhariyanto, Ambassador of DPRK An Kwang Il, nad Chairman of Board of Aadvisors of IKFCE Ristiyanto.
JAKARTA -- The Indonesian and Korea Friendship and Cultural Exchange (IKFCE) is entering a new era. In a meeting held Monday afternoon (14/2) at the IKFCE office, Jalan Proklamasi, Central Jakarta, the top leadership of the organization was transferred to Teguh Santosa.
Before being appointed as the new chairman, Teguh was the Secretary of IKFCE from 2009.
The previous chairman of the IKFCE, Ristiyanto, has now filled the vacant position of Chairman of the Board of Advisers. This position was empty after the IKFCE’s founder, Rachmawati Soekarnoputri, passed away last June 2021.
On the Board of Adviser, Ristiyanto will be accompanied by Eko Surjo Santjojo.
The there, Teguh, Ristiyanto, and Eko, are known as late Rachmawati's apprentices.
The meeting was held before the opening of the e-seminar and virtual photo exhibition to commemorate the 80th anniversary of Kim Jong Il, a key North Korean figure who is the father of current North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
The results of the IKFCE meeting were reported by Ristiyanto to the Ambassador of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea An Kwang Il after the opening of the e-seminar and virtual photo exhibition.
“The Friendship Association of Indonesia and North Korea, like Bung Karno University (UBK), is the fruit of thoughts and ideals of late Mrs. Rachmawati who we must continue to preserve," said Ristiyanto in his report to Ambassador An Kwang Il.
He said he believed PPIK would flourish more under the leadership of Teguh Santosa. Moreover, he added, so far Teguh has played significant role behind the various activities and campaigns carried out by IKFCE. In addition, Teguh Santosa is also widely known in the North Korean friendly community in the world.
Also present at the meeting, was the Chancellor of UBK, DR. Didik Suhariyanto.
Will Be More Open to Younger Generation
Teguh Santosa has said that under his presidency IKFCE would be more open to the younger generation, especially students who want to deepen their understanding of the region and the situation on the Korean Peninsula.
IKFCE was founded by Rachmawati Soekarnoputri in 2001, following a visit to Pyongyang a year earlier. As Bung Karno's daughter, late Rachmawati "revived" the two countries' relations after the fall of the New Order regime.
In the Bung Karno era, relations between Indonesia and North Korea were very close. The founder of North Korea Kim Il Sung visited Indonesia in April 1965. One of the popular stories from that visit was about the orchid flower that Bung Karno handed over to Kim Il Sung. Bung Karno named the dendrobium orchid the Kimilsung Flower.
The visit of Kim Il Sung who was with Kim Jong Il in 1965 was a response to Bung Karno's visit in November 1964.
It was the era of Bung Karno's government introducing the Jakarta-Peking-Pyongyang Axis as the direction of Indonesia's foreign policy in the region. After Bung Karno's reign ended, the sweet story of Indonesia and North Korea faded.
Teguh Santosa has been with IKFCE since its establishment. In 2003, Teguh became Rachmawati's special envoy to attend a meeting in Pyongyang.
In 2015 Teguh returned to visit North Korea as a special envoy for Rachmawati Soekarnoputri. This time he gave the Soekarno Star award to Kim Jong Un which was handed over to the President of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly at that time, Kim Yong Nam.
In April 2018 Teguh Santosa played a major role in the peace concert held at the Jakarta Arts Building (GKJ) with the founder of the Indonesia-World Records Museum (MURI) Jaya Suprana. The peace concert featured a child pianist from North Korea, Coe Jang Hung, and a standing ovation.
Not only in North Korea, Teguh is also actively discussing peace on the Korean Peninsula in South Korea. In March 2019, for example, he spoke about the role of the media in peace on the Korean Peninsula at a conference organized by the South Korean Journalists Association in Seoul.
On that occasion, Teguh appealed to anyone who is trying to understand the situation on the Korean Peninsula to remove the "combative lens" that see things from the perspective of the conflict.
Since May 2021, Teguh has been appointed to be the Director of the Public Information Bureau of the Asia-Pacific Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea Korea (APRCPRK), and is now also active in the Organizing Committee of International Festival in Praise of the Great Persons of Mt. Paektu (OCIFPGPP).