Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
The Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA] Presidium has appointed Hong Ki Chol the new DPRK’s new ambassador to Cambodia on 28 November. Hong has previously served as Consul General in Hong Kong, among other diplomatic/MOFA positions. Hong replaces Ri In Sok who had served as ambassador since 2007. Ri In Sok has made several official visits prior to his departure. On 29 November, Ri met with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen. On 23 November, Cambodian media reported that Ri met with the president of the Kingdom of Cambodia’s Senate (Protsaphea), Chea Sim, and later that day, with the president of its National Assembly (Radhsaphea) Heng Samrin. On 24 November Ri met with Deputy Prime Minister Sok An. During this meeting Ri discussed the DPRK’s construction of a culture and information center near Angkor Wat, a project under development since 2009 which includes two managers and some 60 DPRK experts and workers. Agence Kampuchea Presse reports:
In a meeting on Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister H.E. Dr. Sok An told the North Korean Ambassador H.E. Ri In Sok that Cambodia’s Apsara Authority is working with North Korean experts to build the centre, which will serve as a welcome centre for tourists who want information about Cambodia’s Angkorian history.
Officials of the Apsara Authority for the Protection and Management of Angkor and the Region of Siem Reap are working with 60 Korean experts and concerned institutions to ensure that the building design will feature the cultural values of both Cambodia and Korea.
The building, 70 metres in diameter and 124 metres in height, will be decorated with artistic works and drawings. Korean officials say that the world’s biggest artistic drawing will be displayed at the centre.
Dr. Sok An, who is also Minister in Charge of the Office of the Council of Ministers, told the ambassador that the centre will represent not only the image of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea but also the good bilateral relations of the two Asian nations.
The outgoing North Korean Ambassador Ri In Sok, who is leaving Cambodia on Nov. 26 after a four-year term, told Dr. Sok An that North Korea wants unification with South Korea as soon as possible.
The ambassador was grateful to the deputy prime minister and the Royal Government of Cambodia as a whole for facilitating his diplomatic mission in Cambodia.
“I am pleased with the bilateral cooperation. I am pleased with the tremendous progress made by Cambodia over the past years,” said Ambassador Ri In Sok in the meeting.