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Pyongyang delegation set to visit

A military delegation from North Korea is set to arrive in the Kingdom on Sunday, defence ministry spokesman Chhum Socheat said yesterday, the first such visit since 1995.

Chhum Socheat said the nine-member delegation will be led by Pak Jae-gyong, vice minister of the People’s Armed Forces of Korea and a close associate of North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Il.

“It is a normal visit of the North Korean military delegation,” Chhum Socheat said, adding that the delegation hoped to study “the win-win policy of Samdech Techo Hun Sen”, through which members of the Khmer Rouge movement were reintegrated with the government side in the 1990s.

The two sides may also discuss the elite North Korean bodyguard unit that served King Father Norodom Sihanouk when he returned to the Kingdom in the early 1990s, Chhum Socheat added.

Sihanouk was a close friend of former North Korean leader Kim Il Sung, who built the King Father a palatial home outside of Pyongyang that he lived in during the Lon Nol regime and following the overthrow of the Khmer Rouge.

Also next week, East Timorese President Jose Ramos-Horta will arrive in Cambodia for a state visit, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement yesterday. East Timor is currently angling for membership is the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which Cambodia will chair next year.

Ramos-Horta, who visited the Kingdom last year, is to meet with Prime Minister Hun Sen, National Assembly President Heng Samrin and Senate President Chea Sim, the statement read.

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