North Korea seeks Cambodia’s help

Sonny Inbaraj Krishnan and Cheang Sokha / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
North KoreanAmbassador Jang Yun Gon. KT/Mai Vireak

North Korea wants Cambodia, as a member of Asean, to help advocate on its behalf through the regional grouping for a peaceful resolution to the tensions on the Korean peninsula
 
In an exclusive interview with Khmer Times on Friday, North Korean Ambassador to Cambodia Jang Yun Gon said Cambodia was an important member of Asean and plays a key role diplomatically on the international stage through the United Nations.
 
“The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) and Cambodia have good relations and a history of supporting each other – not only in bilateral relationships but also internationally,” Mr Jang said.
 
“I am confident that Cambodia, as a friend, really understands the tensions on the Korean peninsula and would express solidarity through Asean towards our just cause to help find a solution diplomatically to maintain stability and peace in our country,” he added.
 
Mr Jang said Prime Minister Hun Sen had a clear understanding of the Korean peninsula issue.
 
“The Cambodian prime minister has requested the United Nations Security Council to adopt any resolution with prudence for security on the Korean peninsula and all relevant sides should settle this issue in a peaceful way,” he added.
 
“We value this relationship with Cambodia and we want to maintain and strengthen it. This relationship will be based on the interests of the people in both countries.”
 
Mr Jang quoted Mr Hun Sen who said on April 20 that “I want to ask Khmer workers in South Korea and their families not to worry. There is not going to be a war. There is no reason to evacuate workers.”
 
“Staying there is safer. Korean people are not fleeing, so our workers are fine to stay with them. It would not be easy to evacuate more than 40,000 people.”
 
Mr Jang’s appeal came a day after North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong-Ho sent an official letter to Asean secretary-general Le Luong Minh, just before the Asean leaders summit in Manila on Saturday urging Asean countries for support to find a resolution to the tensions on the Korean peninsula.
 
According to diplomats this was the first time that North Korea had written officially to Asean, seeking diplomatic assistance from the 10-member regional grouping.
 
In the letter, a copy of which was obtained by AFP, Mr. Ri also warned that the situation on the Korean peninsula was “reaching the brink of war” because of the actions of the United States.
 
Kao Kim Hourn, delegate minister attached to Mr Hun Sen’s office, who returned to Phnom Penh from the Asean summit, told Khmer Times yesterday: “The hot point now is the Korean peninsula, about which the leaders of Asean expressed strong concern.”
 
“The Philippine president who currently chairs Asean said China now has a key role to play to resolve the issue of Korean peninsula,” added Mr Kim Hourn.
 
During the UN Security Council meeting on April 28, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov both warned against military escalation in the Korean peninsula and condemned the US deployment of the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defence system in South Korea.
 
“The Chinese government is more fearful of a collapse in Pyongyang or, worse, the unification of the peninsula – something that could put a Western ally right on its border,” stated a report from Stratfor, a US-based global intelligence company.
 
US President Donald Trump said on Thursday a major conflict with North Korea was possible in the standoff over its nuclear and missile programs, but he would prefer a diplomatic outcome to the dispute.
 
“There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely,” Trump told Reuters in an Oval Office interview ahead of his 100th day in office on Saturday.
 
The US Navy’s USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier arrived in Korean waters and is within striking distance of North Korea.
 
Ambassador Jang said: “DPRK has a strong ability to react to any military strike by the US as a dignified nuclear state. The DPRK is a peace-loving socialist state. But it neither fears a war nor wants to avoid it. ”

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