Friday, January 20, 2012

Cambodia attempts to facilitate talks with Korea

Siem Reap (Rasmei Kampuchea Daily/ANN) - Amid uncertainty in North Korea after the death of its leader Kim Jong-il last month, Cambodia said Wednesday it would try to revive six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula in its capacity as chairman of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).
Deputy Prime Minister Hor Nam Hong, who is also foreign minister, said Cambodia would encourage the foreign minister of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to participate in an Asean Regional Forum meeting it plans to host in July.
"Cambodia will facilitate for bilateral talks between DPRK and Republic of Korea," he told reporters after a meeting of Asean foreign ministers in Siem Reap. "Cambodia will also make efforts to resume the six-party talks."
Launched in 2003, the six-party talks between China, Japan, North and South Korea, Russia and the United States have been stalled since 2009 after North Korea conducted a missile launch over Japan.
Cambodia has close ties with North Korea. King Father Norodom Sihanouk and Kim Jong-il's father Kim Il-sung were very close and the king father also has a palace in Pyongyang.
Hor Nam Hong said the Asean foreign ministers also discussed progress towards democracy in Burma and agreed to call an end to the role of the United Nations Secretary General on the issue of human rights in Burma.
Given such rapid progress, he said the ministers agreed to Burma's request that it is no longer necessary to convene any international conference on Burma.
Among other issues discussed at the meeting were Asean community building, the South China Sea, progress in drafting an Asean Human Rights Declaration, protocols for the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone Treaty and disaster management.

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