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Cambodia Adds Voice to Concern Over North Korean Test Launch

In this monitor screen image taken and released by the Korean Central News Agency and distributed in Tokyo by the Korea News Service, the Unha-3 rocket lifts off from a launch site on the west coast, in the village of Tongchang-ri, about 56 kilometers (35 miles) from the Chinese border city of Dandong, North Korea, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012. North Korea successfully fired a long-range rocket on Wednesday.
PHNOM PENH - Cambodia has joined the international community by voicing concern for the test launch of North Korean rocket, which observers say could be a step toward a greater nuclear threat from the country’s regime.

“Cambodia expresses its regret that the People’s Democratic Republic Korea did not pay attention to concerns from other countries because the missile launching can cause more tension in the Korean peninsula,” said Koy Kuong, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Cambodia has friendly relations with North Korea and open lines of communication with the communist country. And Cambodian officials have in the past tried to encourage the North to rejoin six-party talks on its nuclear program.

But Wednesday’s launch of the test rocket, seen as an extension of North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, engendered nearly universal condemnation and is likely to have repercussions throughout the region.

The US called the launch a “highly provocative act,” while Japan called it “extremely regrettable.” China’s foreign ministry called for “relevant parties [to] stay calm in order to maintain peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.”

“This will cause instability in the region, an imbalance of power due the existence of this new weapon,” said Lao Monghay, an independent political analyst in Phnom Penh.