King Denies His Foreign Policy Brought War

In his 17th letter replying to the Prince Norodom Ranariddh biography “Warrior Prince,” King Noro­dom Sihanouk vehemently denied that his foreign policy in the 1950s and 1960s brought war to Cambodia.

Author Harish Mehta wrote that the King’s “highly inflammable foreign policy” of supporting North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces against US-backed South Vietnam led to a fight that “burn­ed the country in the flames of a rapidly spreading civil war.”

King Sihanouk explained that after Cambodia became independent in 1953, the Republic of South Vietnam infringed on Cambodian territory, violating territorial waters, sending troops over the border, and allowing Viet­namese to farm land on re­mote Cambo­dian islands.

Regarding his decision to break relations with Thailand and the US, the King wrote that today’s good relations among the countries prevent him from discussing the problems Cambo­dia had with those nations at that time.


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