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Sukarno's Atomic Bomb

BCFOS -- Quietly, Indonesia under President Soekarno ever preparing for atomic weapons. United States of America prevented from making an atomic bomb, Soekarno turned to China.

US hydrogen bomb trial in the Marshall Islands, Pacific in 1954, making Soekarno worry eastern Indonesian region affected by radiation. He looked for radiologists in the country to conduct an investigation. Soekarno issued Presidential Decree No. 230/1954 on the establishment of the State Committee for Radio-activity investigation on November 23, 1954. The committee is led radiologists in the country, GA Siwabessy returning studies in London.

The team then moved to the priority areas adjacent to the Pacific Ocean, such as Manado, Ambon, and Timor. The investigation team concluded that Indonesia is safe from the effects of US bombing trials.

Completed the task, the team suggested to the government to pay more attention to nuclear science. The effort is reaping the rewards. The government then established the Atomic Energy and the Atomic Energy Organization (LTA).

Siwabessy, which is believed to be the director general of the LTA, and then create a blueprint for a national nuclear development. In addition to providing scholarships to the children of the nation to various countries to study the nuclear, LTA active around to studying nuclear. Various cooperation is also being explored, most importantly with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Cooperation was made Indonesia get help from the US. In June 1960, Indonesia signed a bilateral cooperation in the nuclear field with the United States under the "Atoms for Peace". In addition to giving financial support amounting to 350 thousand dollars for the construction of a nuclear reactor, and 141 thousand dollars for research development. The US also sent their experts. Despite reaping the pros and cons, Indonesia managed to build its first nuclear reactor, Triga-Mark II, in April 1961.

However, cooperation was gradually changing shape as the changing relationship between Indonesia and the US. The death of President John F. Kennedy made Indonesia-US relations are no longer intimate. He was increasingly outspoken campaign against neocolonialism and imperialism that supported the old countries like the US.

China's success in testing its first atomic bomb on October 16, 1964 Soekarno inspired to do the same. According Sulfikar Amir in "The State and the Reactor: Nuclear Politics in Post-Soeharto Indonesia," the journal of Indonesia, Soekarno's interest is driven by the threat to the security of Indonesia after the United States launched the Vietnam War and the UK supporting the establishment of the Federation of Malaysia.

Moreover, this is a tactic Soekarno to gain support from the two political camps in the country who continue feuding, the Army and the PKI.

Soekarno then secretly send nuclear experts and ranking Indonesian military officials to China to learn to make an atomic bomb. This he did because of the existence of a binding agreement between Indonesia and the US, which does not allow Indonesia to turn away from the United States in nuclear development. America can not be stopped despite big plans then it dimmed with the fall of Sukarno in 1965.


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