Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday welcomed the meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday and urged the United States to support denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.
“The talks between the leaders of South Korea and the North has a good impact on the upcoming summit between the US and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un,” Mr Hun Sen told a graduation ceremony in Phnom Penh yesterday.
But Mr Hun Sen cautioned that the ball was also in the court of the US.
“North Korea will not abandon its nuclear ambitions if the US does not pull out its troops from the South,” said Mr Hun Sen.
“The United States has stationed its troops in South Korea over the last 55 years and if North Korea is expected to give up its nuclear tests, then it is also expected that the US withdraws its troops,” he noted.
Mr Kim and Mr Moon on Friday signed the Panmunjom Declaration after their meeting in Panmunjom.
The declaration aims to officially declare an end to the Korean War within the year and focus on peace.
The declaration says both sides confirmed their mutual aim to denuclearise the peninsula, which marked the first time that North Korea has delivered an unequivocal message of denuclearisation since Kim Jong Un became the country’s leader.
However, the denuclearisation of the peninsula was only a prospect with no specific plan.
“That is because such specifics can be reached only between the US and North Korea, and South Korea has only limited authority to bargain,” wrote the Global Times.
US President Donald Trump said on Saturday a meeting with North Korea could occur over the next three to four weeks.
“I think we will have a meeting over the next three or four weeks,” President Trump said at a campaign rally in Washington, Michigan. “It’s going be a very important meeting, the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.”
“But we’ll see how it goes,” he was quoted as saying by the Guardian. “I may go in, it may not work out; I leave.”
Mr Hun Sen said he was waiting anxiously to see the outcome of the summit.
“No one can predict what both sides will have as their agendas on the table yet,” Mr Hun Sen said.