A Change of Guard

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Monday, 10 December 2012

Hun Sen appeals to North Korea to cancel rocket launch

PHNOM PENH, 10 December 2012 (The Cambodia Herald) - Prime Minister Hun Sen appealed to North Korea Monday to cancel a proposed rocket launch in his capacity as outgoing chairman of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

"Over the past few days, there have been major concerns as North Korea has threatened to launch the rocket," he told a groundbreaking ceremony for a shopping mall in Phnom Penh.
While he noted reports that the launch was being delayed by poor weather conditions, he urged North Korea to cancel it altogether.

"As ASEAN chair, I would like to appeal to North Korea to delay the missile launch forever. I hope that North Korea will consider this thoroughly.
"Otherwise, the concern is not just for Japan, South Korea and the US but the region as a whole," he said, warning that "tensions will explode" if the launch goes ahead.
"I would like to see all parties return to the six-party talks and resolve the issue by peaceful means," Hun Sen said, referring to negotiations between North and South Korea, China, Japan, Russia and the United States.

The prime minister also said that the missile launch would be "contrary to resolutions of the UN Security Council."

Hun Sen said he was making the appeal after Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong proposed a draft statement on North Korea by ASEAN foreign ministers.
"After almost one week of efforts, the ministers could not reach a consensus," he said.
Cambodia's chairmanship of ASEAN expires at the end of the month when Brunei assumes the chair for 2013.

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