South Korea Seeking Cambodian Help in Talks, Prince Says

South Korea is seeking Cam­bo­dia’s help in brokering the stalled process of reunification with North Korea, National As­sembly President Prince Noro­dom Ranariddh said Tues­day.

The prince, who returned last week from his first visit to South Korea, said its leaders were “very much” willing to continue negotiations with North Korea.

Negotiations between the two nations, begun at the historic In­ter-Korea Summit in June of 2000, have been stalled since US Pres­ident George W Bush listed ­North Korea as a country that sponsors terrorism.

That summit brought Kim Dae Jung and Kim Jong Il together for the first time. A top Thai cabinet official at the time said King Norodom Sihanouk, a close friend of the reclusive North Korean leader, played a role in the get-together.

Ranariddh said his South Kor­ean counterpart, National Assem­bly President Lee Man Suk, agreed during their two meetings in Seoul to “welcome warmly the King and myself if we can act as a bridge to help make possible further talks between the two [Koreas].”

South Korean leaders have had trouble getting North Korea to restart the talks and would like King Sihanouk to mediate, Ran­ariddh said. The prince said he was writing a note to the King in­forming him of South Korea’s request.

“When we can make a helpful contribution to a friendly country, we have to help out,” he said.

“This is not out of pride for our nation alone, but our obligation as a member of the regional community to make peace and reunification in Asia.”

 

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