71 Record by Starey1 of Conversation with Seki2

Jakarta, 2 August 1965


Indonesia's Atomic Plans

Mr. Seki called on me at the office. His one purpose was to discuss Indonesia's announced intention to explode an atomic weapon.3

  1. Mr. Seki asked how we assessed Indonesia's chances of exploding a bomb. I said that from the technological point of view, we had concluded that Indonesia had no hope of manufacturing and exploding an atomic device for a considerable period of time. This was not to deny that such an explosion could take place-but if it did, the whole operation would have to be imported, presumably from China.
  2. Mr. Seki then disclosed that a consistently reliable high-ranking Indonesian military contact of the Japanese Embassy, who works in the Intelligence Branch of the Armed Forces Headquarters and has the ear of Subandrio,4 had just advised him (Mr. Seki) that Indonesia would in fact explode an atomic device before the end of this year. The most likely date was 5 October, Armed Forces Day. Seki had probed him on the question of Indonesian capability to achieve this from her own resources, and the contact readily admitted that this was impossible.To Mr. Seki's further question as to whether this meant that the Chinese would send both the men and materials for the job, he declined to give an answer.
  3. Mr. Seki said his contact had also said that the proposed location of the explosion was one of the small islands off the west coast of Sumatra.
  4. Mr. Seki pointed out further that, in terms of the Chinese atomic programme, an explosion about October would fit the pattern of a five or six months' gap established between their first and second explosions.
  5. I commented that one certainly could not rule out the possibility of a development such as this, as the Chinese and Indonesians could well both assess that their interests would we well served by such a gimmick. If it eventuated, it would presumably be presented here as a notable Indonesian achievement, in which the Chinese had lent some brotherly assistance.

[NAA: A1838, 919/12/10 part 1]