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North Korea seeks stronger ties with the Kingdom

Khy Sovuthy / Khmer Times Share:
Ri Kil Song, North Korea’s deputy foreign minister, shakes hands with Foreign Affairs Minister Prak Sokhonn. MOFA

North Korea wants to boost its ties with the Kingdom started by Late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and the Kim Il Sung more than 50 years ago.

Ri Kil Song, North Korea’s deputy foreign minister, conveyed this to Foreign Affairs Minister Prak Sokhonn during a courtesy call to the ministry last week.

Koy Kuong, ministry spokesman, yesterday said that during the meeting, Mr Ri and Mr Sokhonn also discussed several other issues including United Nations’ sanctions against the communist state.

“It is important to note that Cambodia, as a member state, respects all decisions of the United Nations surrounding North Korea,” Mr Kuong said.

He said that during the meeting, Mr Ri noted that next year marks the 55th anniversary of ties between the two countries.

Mr Kuong added that Mr Ri also invited Mr Sokhonn to make an official visit to North Korea, but no date was set.

He noted that Mr Ri had worked as an advisor at the North Korean embassy in Cambodia from 2004 to 2008.

A Foreign Affairs Ministry statement on November 19 said that during the meeting with Mr Sokhonn, Mr Ri lauded economic development in Cambodia.

It said he also congratulated the CPP over the results of last year’s national election.

The statement said that Mr Sokhonn informed Mr Ri that he agreed on the necessity to boost good relations and cooperation between both countries.

Kin Phea, director-general of the International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, yesterday noted that relations between Cambodia and North Korea are symbolic and a legacy that remains from the good ties enjoyed between King Sihanouk and Mr Kim.

“So Cambodia, as a member of the United Nations, has no choice but to respect all conditions and policies that are issued on North Korea over the Korean peninsula nuclear issue,” he noted.

Mr Phea said relations between Cambodia and North Korea are merely diplomatic and there is no bilateral trade.

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