The Korea Herald


First lady meets with Indonesian environmental activists

By Yonhap

Published : Nov. 15, 2022 - 09:41

    • Link copied

First lady Kim Keon-hee (right) visits a Korean school in Bali on Monday. (Presidential Office) First lady Kim Keon-hee (right) visits a Korean school in Bali on Monday. (Presidential Office)

BALI -- First lady Kim Keon-hee met with a pair of environmental activists in Bali and talked about their shared love for eco-friendly products, the presidential office said Tuesday.

The meeting with the Wijsen sisters -- Melati and Isabel -- took place Monday during Kim's visit to the island with President Yoon Suk-yeol. Yoon is due to attend a Group of 20 summit in Bali on Tuesday.

"An issue that's no less important than nuclear war is the issue of climate and the environment," Kim said, according to deputy presidential spokesperson Lee Jae-myoung. "I'd like to create an opportunity for the Wijsen sisters, who saved Bali from trash, to talk with young people in South Korea."

The Indonesian sisters are known for getting a bill passed to ban the use of plastic bags after going on a hunger strike.

Lee said they showed the first lady goods made by Mountain Mamas, a company that makes bags and fashion items from recyclable ingredients and helps women support themselves at the same time.

"First lady Kim also showed them her business card wallet made from a military tent and her bag made from a coffee sack and shared their interest in eco-friendly products," he said.

Later Monday, Kim visited a Korean school and asked the instructors to help children of Korean residents to hold on to their sense of identity and develop their creative skills.

She also met with Indonesian first lady Iriana Joko Widodo, and the two exchanged condolences over the Itaewon crowd crush and the deadly stampede at a football stadium in Indonesia.

During the hourlong meeting, Kim said she would like to use their combined voice to send a message in areas of shared interest, such as in the environment, education, welfare and women's issues.

Iriana gladly agreed and thanked Kim for her warm hospitality during her visit to South Korea in July. (Yonhap)