The Hereditary Dictatorships of North Korea, Cambodia Have Shared Soviet Roots

Both nations traveled a similar path from Soviet patronage to personalist autocracy.

The responses to my article “US Sanctions and Rallying Around the Flag in North Korea and Cambodia,” published in The Diplomat on February 16 merit further elaboration.

The article was the result of a discussion between myself and the U.S. economist Steve Hanke over whether there should be any exceptions to his blanket position of opposing U.S. sanctions against foreign countries.

A spokesman for Cambodia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, Chum Sounry, wrote to The Diplomat, supporting Hanke’s stance on sanctions, but objecting to my classification of Cambodia alongside North Korea.

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