Kim Il Sung’s Visit to Indonesia: Friendship Throughout the Seasons

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Jakarta, IO – On August 17, 1964, Indonesian President Sukarno asked DPRK Prime Minister Kim Il Sung to join the country’s independence celebrations. However, the circumstances of the moment necessitated a repeat visit only in April 1965. The occasion was the Asian-African Conference’s tenth anniversary. Kim Il Sung was supposed to arrive on April 7, 1965, but that date was moved back to April 10, 1965.

On the day of his arrival, all Indonesian daily printed Prime Minister Kim Il Sung’s memoir on the front page. Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital, is strutting its stuff. There are images of President Sukarno and PM Kim Il Sung on the streets and at crossroads, with phrases such as “Long live His Excellency Prime Minister Kim Il Sung,” “Long live His Excellency President Sukarno,” and “Long live the friendship between the people of Indonesia and Korea.” A big billboard depicts the bonds of imperialism and colonialism shattering beneath the feet of Chollima and Bull.

Kemayoran Airport has a more active ambiance. Hundreds of thousands of people, including students, party members, mass organizations, and average citizens, excitedly anticipated the arrival of Korean visitors. There were portraits of the two leaders everywhere, as well as posters that said things like, “Welcoming Prime Minister Kim Il Sung and his entourage” and “Long live the friendship of the Indonesian and Korean people.”

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Prime Minister Kim Il Sung’s plane touched down at 13.10 p.m., accompanied by a squadron of Indonesian Air Force fighter planes. Kim Il Sung, who was dressed in a gray suit and a white cap and had a cheerful smile, stepped off the plane. President Sukarno, his best friend, was quickly embraced.

Kim Il Sung was escorted to Indonesia by high-ranking Korean officials, including Foreign Minister Pak Song Chol. The group included an unique member: the leader’s son, Kim Jong Il, who was still quite young at the time. This visit is noteworthy since only Indonesia has had the distinction of being visited by both leaders at the same time in Korean history. After the national anthem was performed and Kim Il Sung was given the military salute with a gunshot 21 times, he was introduced to Indonesian leaders.

Sukarno declared in his inaugural remark in Kemayoran, among other things, that he was grateful to his great visitor and that Indonesia was working as hard as it could at the moment to construct a new world free of oppression. In his response, Kim Il Sung stated that Korea is willing to collaborate with Indonesia in the joint cause. Furthermore, he expressed his delight at finally being able to visit the beautiful Indonesia and observe the benefits of its progress.

Following his address, the state visitor proceeded to his automobile past the Gate of Bhineka Tunggal Ika, a line of Indonesian females dressed in traditional clothing from around the archipelago. A girl also gave Kim Il Sung a jasmine garland.

The two leaders drove to the State Palace in a vehicle. Thousands of people jammed into greeting stations along the route. They wanted to witness their leader’s and his visitors’ faces firsthand. In fact, several people were unable to keep going. When they saw this, the two leaders grinned broadly and waved their hands. People chanted, “Long live Bung Karno,” “Long live Marshal Kim Il Sung,” and “Destroy the Imperialists.”