REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, SEOUL -- President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) delivered a general lecture to students of the Indonesia-Malaysia Language Department of Hankuk University in Seoul on Tuesday. Jokowi, in the company of First Lady Iriana and several of his cabinet ministers, received an applause from the students upon arrival at the university at around 10:30 a.m. local time.
According to the university, President Jokowi was the 18th head of state invited to give a lecture at the university. On the occasion, he recalled the success of the recent Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang.
"The Asian Games this year really demonstrated the spectacular human capital in Asia," he emphasized.
Jokowi referred to more than 11 thousand athletes and 2,500 officials from 45 countries involved in the contests in 40 sport branches, making the Games the biggest in history. He also highlighted the good moment when Korean athletes united in the parade under one United Korea flag.
South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon and North Korean Deputy Prime Minister Ri Ryong Nam were also seen hand-in-hand at the moment.
During a question and answer session, President Jokowi admitted to being happy when a student posed a question on Korean unity. He also hailed the initiatives of South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to hold a recent meeting as a new page in the history of peace in the Korean Peninsula.
"It is a history, as Koreans are close brothers of one race, so it is common for them to meet, and I am happy to see it," he remarked.
When his comments were sought on the diversity in Indonesia, Jokowi said it has been the destiny of the country to have 17 thousand islands, with the population of up to 163 million, comprising 715 tribes that speak in 1,100 local dialects but have, so far, remained solid.
"I have always advised people to respect each other and to be tolerant despite their differences. That is the diversity that exists in Indonesia," he pointed out.
After giving a lecture, he received a token in the form of a jacket that he immediately wore.
He also called on the students to have their pictures taken with him and the First Lady. He also heeded to requests by students keen on taking selfies with him.
The students sang "Halo-Halo Bandung," a nationalistic song when they saw off the president.