The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has refuted an “unfounded report” by a well-known North Korean monitoring website that accused Cambodia of “abetting Pyongyang’s intelligence operations and illegal economic activities”.

The piece in question, “North Korean spy ran hotels, casinos and travel agency in Cambodia: UN report”, was published in NK News on February 15, the ministry noted in a statement.

“Cambodia has complied with all UN Security Council [UNSC] resolutions, shut down all businesses and bank accounts of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea [DPRK] in the country and halted granting work authorisation for workers from DPRK,” it said, using North Korea’s formal name.

The ministry, through the Cambodian Permanent Mission to the UN, on January 20, 2020 submitted the Kingdom’s “National Report on the Implementation of UNSC Resolutions on Sanctions on the DPRK” to the chair of the council committee established by UNSC Resolution 1718 in 2006, according to the statement.

“Cambodia has always adhered to its firm stance of supporting non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction towards the complete elimination of these weapons.

"As a responsible member of the United Nations, Cambodia has completely fulfilled its international obligations under the Charter of the United Nations and has faithfully implemented the resolutions of the UNSC on sanctions on the DPRK."

“To effectively implement the requirements of the UNSC sanctions resolutions on DPRK, the [ministry] has duly informed all relevant ministries and institutions about all UNSC resolutions regarding the DPRK for taking concrete actions,” the statement said.

The ministry noted that the government on March 1, 2018 set up an inter-ministerial ad hoc working group to look into businesses linked to North Korea and relevant documents.

“The inter-ministerial ad hoc working group has conducted at least nine meetings, co-chaired by the [foreign and commerce ministries], to decide on concrete measures to be taken in compliance with various types of sanctions as prescribed in the UNSC resolutions,” it said.

As a result, “seven bank accounts in two different financial institutions have been closed since 2017. Cambodia has shut down all DPRK's businesses, including restaurants and museums, operating in Cambodia.

“On 12 June 2019, the [commerce ministry] deregistered a company of the DPRK – Glory Worldwide Glow Co Ltd. The [ministry] searched the entities registered in its system and found that 12 entities, including Mansudae New Tech Corporation Ltd were related to the DPRK,” the statement said.

It noted that all 12 were deregistered on December 30, 2019, just 25 days after eight restaurants were shut down and had their licences “deregistered”.

“Since 2017, Cambodia has stopped granting work authorisation for workers from the DPRK. As of 30 November 2019, the government decided not to issue the extension of visas for the DPRK nationals who worked in Cambodia,” the ministry said.