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Cambodian FM to visit North Korea—Asean chief

/ 06:45 PM April 04, 2012

PHNOM PENH—Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong will visit North Korea this year as part of Asean’s attempts to help ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula, the regional bloc’s chief said Wednesday.

Hor Namhong will make the trip before an Asian security forum in July hosted by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Asean Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan said.

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Cambodia holds Asean’s rotating leadership and has close ties with Pyongyang, Surin told reporters at the end of the grouping’s annual summit in Phnom Penh.

“There is a special relationship between Cambodia and North Korea that was useful to Asean in the year 2000… and that was to bring North Korea into Asean Regional Forum,” he said.

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“I hope that Cambodia can play that unique role again and I understand the foreign minister is preparing himself to visit before the Asean ministerial meeting and Asean Regional Forum in July.”

The forum is an annual gathering of foreign ministers from 27 countries, including Asean’s 10 members as well as the US, China and Japan to discuss strategic security issues like the tense situation on the Korean Peninsula.

The two Koreas are members of the forum, making it an ideal venue for mediation outside of the so-called Six Party Talks.

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TAGS: ASEAN, Defense, Diplomacy, Foreign affairs, North Korea, Security
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