Former S Korean Dictator Visits Cambodia

Former South Korean Pres­ident Chun Doo Hwan and a group of about 20 businessmen interested in investing in Cam­bodia were greeted Tuesday by a handful of South Korean em­bassy officials and Prime Min­ister Hun Sen’s security forces.

The weeklong unofficial visit is a result of an invitation from Hun Sen. Om Yentieng, a senior adviser to Hun Sen, was at the airport to greet Chun, who left Poch­entong in the prime minister’s personal Mercedes sedan.

“[Chun] found the time to visit Cambodia and he couldn’t say no to Hun Sen’s invitation,” said South Korean Ambassador Kim Won Tae. “It’s a private visit. The two may play golf together.”

Chun is scheduled to meet Hun Sen before Hun Sen departs to India on an official visit Friday. Chun also is expected to visit the temples of Angkor, see the beach­es of Sihanoukville and meet the venerable Tep Vong, supreme patriarch of the Buddhist Mohanikaya community.

Chun seized power in a 1979 military coup and stepped down in 1987. He was sentenced to death in 1996 on charges of murder, corruption and treason for crimes committed during his rule, but an appeals court commuted the sentence to life. Chun was finally pardoned by then-president Kim Yong Sam.

Leaders of the South Korean small business community who accompanied Chun are scheduled to meet with officials from the ministries of Commerce and Industry. “We are just here to learn more about Cambodia,” said Byung Moon Seo, vice chairman of the Korea Federation of Small Business.

Sok Siphana, secretary of state at the Ministry of Commerce, said he expects to talk mainly about trade issues, while Ith Praing, secretary of state at the Ministry of Industry, said he will inform the delegation of opportunities to invest especially in the energy sector.



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