By Bambang Purwanto
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - South Korean Ambassador Lee Sun-Jin has said that he likes living in Indonesia among about 35,000 members of the Korean community in the country as he has found some cities in the archipelagic nation interesting.
Lee Sun-Jin who has been served in his job as ambassador to Indonesia for three years has visited many cities in Indonesia including Bandung in West Java province, Central Kalimantan province, South Kalimantan province, Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam (NAD) province, Bali province and Yogyakarta province.
The ambassador whose hobbies are reading, traveling and playing golf said he was even interested in tourist sites like Borobudur temple (the biggest Buddhist temple in Indonesia or even in the world), and Prambanan Temple which is the biggest Hindu temple in Indonesia.
Borobudur temple is located some 40 kilometers north-west of Yogyakarta and Prambanan temple about 20 kilometers east of the city which is led by a governor, Sultan Hamengkubuwono X.
The South Korean ambassador also likes such tourist attractions and cultural performances as `wayang` (traditional Javanese puppet shadow play) and paintings.
"I feel at home in Yogyakarta as the ancient city is reminiscent of Gyongju (an ancient city in Korea), close to Busan City where I used to live," said Lee who graduated from the Department of International Relations, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea, in February 1975.
During his stay in Indonesia, the 60-year old ambassador also does not find any difficulties in finding food as there are no less than 100 Korean restaurants in the country.
In addition to Korean cuisine, Lee also likes Indonesian food although it is of a different taste. "I like Indonesian food such as ikan bakar (grilled fish) and sambal terasi (spicy sauce made with shrimp paste) as well as all kinds of Indonesian fruits," he said.
What is surprising is that the South Korean ambassador likes watching films including the popular Indonesian film `Ayat-ayat Cinta` (Verses of Love).
However, what he likes in Ayat-ayat Cinta is not the message of the film as perhaps he does not speak nor understand Indonesian but its artistic image.
"I don`t understand the message of the film, but (what he is interested in is) the fantastic image. The artistic image is wonderful," the hospitable ambassador said in an interview with ANTARA at his residence in Jakarta last Monday (April 7).
Lee Sun-Jin who joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) in September 1975 is a successful Korean diplomat. Since his appointment as vice consul at the Korean Embassy in Seattle, USA, he continuously rose in his career.
Among the important diplomatic positions he has assumed are Second Secretary at the Korean Embassy in the Republic of Lebanon (1980), First Secretary at the Korean Embassy in the United States of America (1985), Counselor at the Koream Embassy in the People`s Republic of China (1992) and Minister-Counselor at the Korean Embassy in Japan.
Other official positions he once had include Deputy Minister for Policy Planning and International Organizations, MOFAT (2003), Director-General for Policy Planning, Office of Policy Planning and International Organizations, MOFAT (2001)and Deputy Director-General, International Trade Bureau, MOFAT (1996).
The Korean ambassador who is married with one son and one daughter has been in Indonesia since June 29, 2005.