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North Korea mulls learning from Cambodians

Khuon Narim / Khmer Times Share:
The delegation was invited by the Red Cross. Supplied

A Cambodia Mine Action Centre official yesterday said a North Korean delegation in the Kingdom has expressed interest in having CMAC tutor it on how to clear unexploded ordnance.

CMAC director-general Heng Ratana yesterday said on Facebook that the delegation is interested in learning how to clear bombs leftover from the Korean War in the 1950s.

“The delegation is interested in clearing landmines, explosive remnants of war and especially bombs dropped from planes,” Mr Ratana said.

The North Korean delegation is in the Kingdom after it was invited by the International Red Cross to visit CMAC.

Mr Ratana said the visit to the Kingdom will serve as part of a course on how to reduce the threats of explosive remnants of war.

“The delegation was interested in our experience and achievements because their country is similar to ours,” he said. “The United States also dropped bombs in North Korea.”

However, Mr Ratana noted that the North Korean delegation had only expressed interest and exchanged information.

“We didn’t talk about providing assistance, we only exchanged information,” he said. “The delegation was very interested in how we are doing clearings.”

In December, CMAC reported that number of casualties caused by landmine and explosive remnants of war remained stagnant for the whole of last year when compared to 2017.

“The figure of the deaths and injuries are the same as last year,” the report said, noting that this year there were 16 children casualties, 36 men and six women. In 2017, there were 18 children casualties, 35 men and 5 women.

It’s been estimated that the US dropped about 600,000 tonnes of bombs, including about 30,000 tonnes of napalm on the Korean peninsula between 1950 and 1953 during the Korean War.

In the early 1970s, the US bombed the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Cambodia during the Vietnam War.

Thousands of bombing runs were carried out over Cambodia’s bordering provinces with Vietnam, without the knowledge of the American public at the time.

About 110,000 tonnes of bombs were dropped during a period of more than one year.

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