Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hun Sen lauds North and South Korea meet



Hun Sen lauds North and South Korea meet

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un talks with South Korea's President Moon Jae-in on Friday before the inter-Korean summit at the Peace House building on the southern side of the truce village of Panmunjom. Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday praised the peace talks between the two nations. AFP
North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un talks with South Korea's President Moon Jae-in on Friday before the inter-Korean summit at the Peace House building on the southern side of the truce village of Panmunjom. Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday praised the peace talks between the two nations. AFP

Hun Sen lauds North and South Korea meet

Prime Minister Hun Sen lauded the “historic” meeting between North and South Korea on Monday, but claimed the continued presence of US troops on the Korean Peninsula could undermine steps towards nuclear demilitarisation.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and the South’s president, Moon Jae-in, agreed last weekend to remove nuclear weapons from the Korean Peninsula and pledged to negotiate a peace treaty after decades of war.

“This thing with North and South Korea is the best thing in the world,” Hun Sen said in a speech to graduating students. “Half a century after [war broke out] the Korean brothers came to negotiate . . . The compromise will lead to the dissolution of the use of nuclear weapons.”

“The question is; will the US withdraw their troops? If not, North Korea will not abandon their nuclear program.”

However, the North recently dropped its longstanding demand for the withdrawal of US military forces as a condition of denuclearisation, according to the South Korean president. Cambodia’s US Embassy declined to comment.

Cambodia is one of a handful of countries that has diplomatic relations with the isolated North Korean regime, along with Germany, the UK, Russia and Sweden, as well as regional neighbours Malaysia, Laos and Vietnam.

But the premier’s praise of the Korean negotiations did not appear to match his less conciliatory rhetoric domestically, according to Phil Robertson of Human Rights Watch.

“It’s sad that PM Hun Sen can find a way to laud the growing rapprochement between North and South Korea but he doesn’t see that by banning the CNRP and systematically violating human rights he is creating huge divisions at home,” he said.

Hun Sen has repeatedly said he will not negotiate with the remnants of the Cambodia National Rescue Party since the party was forcibly dissolved in November to international outcry.

Meanwhile, former CNRP leader Sam Rainsy encouraged Hun Sen to negotiate with the opposition but said the premier was “more and more afraid of losing power”, while expressing hope that US President Donald Trump would take a strong stance against Hun Sen.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen says Kingdom not a 'satellite country'

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said Cambodia had sent diplomatic notes to various embassies demonstrating its stance and clarifying allegations that the Kingdom is a satellite country of China which will allow it exclusive access to the Ream Naval Base in Preah Sihanouk province. The response

  • Vast Prince Manor fun park opens to much fanfare in Kandal

    Chinese-owned Prince Culture and Development Co Ltd officially launched the $85 million Prince Manor entertainment centre in Kandal province on Wednesday. Prince Manor is located along National Road 1, 20km from the centre of Phnom Penh. It is the first major theme park project in Cambodia and

  • Angkor provides ‘valuable’ water storage

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has stored millions of cubic metres of water at reservoirs in the Angkor area after Cambodia experienced a series of rainstorms over the last few days. The storing of the water, besides serving temple conservation, will also be used to

  • Floods prompt evacuations in Kampong Speu

    Rain-induced floods and water flowing from Kampong Speu province have submerged the houses of 1,527 families living close to the Prek Thnot River in Spean Thma, Tien, Kong Noy and Roluos communes in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district, according to data from local authorities. Spean Thma

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from

  • Cintri strike ends, workers’ contracts to be terminated

    CINTRI (Cambodia) Ltd rubbish collectors who have been on strike for the past 13 days agreed to return to work starting Wednesday evening after the company agreed to terminate their contracts at the end of January next year and provide seniority payments and other benefits to