North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Central Leadership Pays Condolence Call to Cambodian Embassy

Floral wreaths delivered on behalf of the Supreme People’s Assembly, DPRK Cabinet and other central DPRK Government organizations (Photo: KCNA)

SPA Presidium President Kim Yong Nam (2nd L) and SPA Chairman and KWP Secretary Choe Tae Bok bow during a condolence call at the Cambodian Embassy in Pyongyang on 16 October 2012 after the death of former King of Cambodia Norodom Sihanouk who died in Beijing on 15 October 2012 (Photo: KCNA)

DPRK state media reported on 16 October (Tuesday) that Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA] Presidium President Kim Yong Nam, DPRK Cabinet Premier Choe Yong Rim, Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Secretary Choe Tae Bok, Minister of Foreign Affairs Pak Ui Chun, Minister of Foreign Trade Ri Ryong Nam and other members of the country’s central leadership paid condolence calls at the Cambodian Embassy in Pyongyang after the death of Cambodia’s former King, Norodom Sihanouk, who died on 15 October (Monday) in Beijing.  Sihanouk established close ties with the late DPRK President and founder, Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng).  During the 1970s the DPRK constructed a palace (secured by the Guard Command) near Mt. Taeso’ng for the exiled Cambodian monarch.  Sihanouk lived in his Pyongyang residence at various points in the 1970s, 1990s and 2000s.  His last stay in Pyongyang was in 2006.

Changsuwo’n Palace Compound in Pyongyang (Photo: Google image)

Former Cambodian King Norodom Sihanouk (C) and his wife Cambodian Queen Mother Norodom Monineath (L) pay tribute to the late DPRK President Kim Il Sung at the Ku’msusan Memorial Palace in 1999. Also in attendance is SPA Presidium President Kim Yong Nam (R). (Photo: Chosen Soren)

KCNA reported that floral wreaths were delivered to the Cambodian Embassy by the SPA, the DPRK Cabinet, the DPRK Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the DPRK Ministry of Foreign Trade, the Korean Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries and the DPRK-Cambodia Friendship Association.  According to KCNA “the wreaths were placed before a photo of the deceased” and DPRK officials “paid silent tribute to the great king and signed a condolence book.”

SPA Presidium President Kim Yong Nam signs a condolence book at the Cambodian Embassy in the DPRK, whilst paying a condolence call on the death of former Cambodian King Norodom Sihanouk (Photo: KCNA)

DPRK Premier Choe Yong Rim and officials of the DPRK Cabinet bow during a condolence call at the Cambodian Embassy in Pyongyang on 16 October 2012 for the death of former King of Cambodia Norodom Sihanouk, who died on 15 October 2012 (Photo: KCNA)

DPRK Premier Choe Yong Rim signs a condolence book in front of a photograph of former King of Cambodia Norodom Sihanouk at the Cambodian Embassy in the DPRK on 16 October 2012 (Photo: KCNA)

On 15 October (Monday) DPRK state media reported that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) sent a condolence message to the King of Cambodia, Norodom Sihamoni, Sinhanouk’s successor and eldest son with his seventh wife.  In the message KJU described Norodom Sihanouk as “a close friend of the Korean people” and “who devoted all his life to defending the independence and sovereignty of Cambodia and achieving reconciliation and unity of the nation and the peace and prosperity of the country.”  According to KCNA Kim Jong Un wrote that “President Kim Il Sung and leader Kim Jong Il maintained with Great King His Majesty Norodom Sihanouk the noblest and the most profound relations of obligation unprecedented in history and these relations provided an eternal foundation for relations of friendship, solidarity and cooperation between the peoples of the DPRK and Cambodia.”

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