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

  • CDRI poll: Most happy but disappointments still exist

    A survey has found that over 70 per cent of Cambodian youths and adults approve of the direction the country is headed in, with the majority of respondents saying they had been doing better financially over the past five years. However, more than half said they

  • Drugs raid on Miami Night Club, 50 held

    Anti-drugs police raided a club in Chamkarmon district’s Boeung Keng Kang I commune in Phnom Penh early on Thursday, arresting some 50 people and confiscating drug-producing equipment and suspected illegal substances. Deputy National Police chief Mok Chito said on Thursday that police conducted the raid

  • Phnom Penh: The street food you adore, but given a refined twist

    There is no shortage of street food vendors scattered across Phnom Penh, but what is far rarer is finding a place that also has comfortable seating, good hygiene and parking. This is where Jing Ling and her five friends step in. With the concept of

  • Battambang court releases minor who shot boy

    The Battambang provincial court on Thursday released a 14-year-old boy who had been detained for accidentally firing a home-made gun and killing a nine-year-old boy in Samlot district on Tuesday, provincial court spokesman Tieng Sambor said. Sambor told The Post on Thursday that following the