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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - King backs N. Korea guard

King backs N. Korea guard

H IS Majesty King Norodom Sihanouk on Monday May 2 said he did not want

Cambodians guarding him.

He'll keep his North Korean bodyguards, thank



"I absolutely refuse to have a royal guard because according to my own past

experience and what I have observed in Africa and South America, they [leaders]

are deposed by their commander in chief, their presidential guards or royal

guards," he said.

Sihanouk, speaking to a small group of Cambodian

reporters, said he recalled the day in 1970 when he was overthrown by a cousin

in a US-supported coup that installed Lon Nol as head of an ill-fated Republic

of Cambodia.

"I was deposed by one of my cousins, Sirik Matak, and the

commander in chief and prime minister I appointed, General Lon Nol, and by my

own army, not a republican army or communist army, I was overthrown by my own

royal guards," he said.

Sihanouk was responding to an offer by the

Cambodian government to provide n all-Khmer royal guard to supervize his

personal security.

"I am better protected by 25 North Koreans from the

Democratic Republic of Korean," the 71-year-old monarch said.

He denied

it was unpatriotic to surround himself with foreign bodyguards.

"I have

my national pride as a Khmer but my experience and the experience of my brothers

in Africa and South America is very bitter," he said.

Sihanouk said he

would tell the coalition government to stop its plan to form a royal


"If it wants a royal guard it means it wants to overthrow

Sihanouk," he said.

Lon Nol was driven from power by the Maoist Khmer

Rouge in 1975. During their rule at least a million Cambodians were killed by

execution, starvation and disease.

- Reuters



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