World

Indonesia proposed as mediator in North Korea dispute

Former UN weapons inspector Hans Blix has proposed Indonesia as a possible mediator in the dispute between North Korea and the United States over Pyongyang's nuclear program and missile tests.

Former United Nations weapons inspector Hans Blix has touted Indonesia as a possible mediator in the North Korean nuclear standoff.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is expected to visit North Korea's capital, Pyongyang, next month.

Blix says Yudhoyono could have a positive influence over the North Korean leadership as tensions over Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions continue to rise.

The United States is already reportedly planning to deploy Patriot interceptor missiles in Japan amid fears that North Korea is planning to test fire a long-range ballistic missile.

Washington is also urging North Koreato immediately return to the stalled six-party nuclear disarmament talks.

Blix says Indonesia could play a part in helping to facilitate that aim.

"I think Indonesia has a tradition of being an intermediary in the region," he said.

"It's a big country, it is a developing country and I think that a fellow developing country could have an influence on the North Koreans and the Indonesians could be seen as being more distant and giving friendlier advice."