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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - RCAF gets Korean gear

Prime Minister Hun Sen and South Korea's National Assembly speaker Chung Ui-hwa cut the red ribbon to inaugurate the Eye Center at Ang Doung to mark the Cambodian-Korean friendship in 2015.
Prime Minister Hun Sen and South Korea's National Assembly speaker Chung Ui-hwa cut the red ribbon to inaugurate the Eye Center at Ang Doung to mark the Cambodian-Korean friendship in 2015. Hong Menea

RCAF gets Korean gear

Cambodia is expecting a shipment of military vehicles donated by South Korea, according to a sub-decree.

The Ministry of Finance in December released about $1 million to the Defence Ministry to cover the equipment’s transportation, it says.

Defence Minister Tea Banh on Monday told The Post the delivery included vehicles and engineering equipment, though he said he could not give the quantity or specifics of the kit.

“Korea has helped us and we only have to spend the money for transport. They have not arrived yet,” said Banh, adding it was the third such donation from the country.

“We have a very good relationship.”

The gifts are part of South Korea’s efforts to bolster ties with countries seen as having links to North Korea to ensure enforcement of UN sanctions against its nuclear-armed neighbour, said defence analyst Jon Grevatt, of IHS Janes.

“Donations would help gain South Korea influence in Cambodia,” he said.

Cambodia’s links to Pyongyang largely stem from the friendship between its former leader Kim Il-sung and the late King Norodom Sihanouk, though the Kingdom remains a “friend” to the current regime, government spokesman Phay Siphan said last year.

South Korea’s vice defence minister, Hwang In-moo, visited Cambodia and Laos in June last year to discuss bilateral defence cooperation and to request assistance in responding to the nuclear threat posed by the North.

Cambodia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement condemning nuclear tests by Pyongyang in September. Last month, Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn met with North Korean Ambassador to Cambodia Jang Yun-gon to encourage a return to dialogue.

In January, it was announced the Kingdom would receive more than $400 million in loans from South Korea, largely for infrastructure projects.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING SHAUN TURTON

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