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Hun Sen: North Korea’s Missile Test Concerns Superpowers, But Cambodia is Not on Its Radar

People watch a TV screen showing a local news program reporting about North Korea's missile launch, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Nov. 30, 2017.

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday said that while many powerful countries across the world were concerned by North Korea’s successful missile test last week, but Cambodia, he said, was not a potential target.

Speaking to a group of boy scouts at their annual general meeting in Phnom Penh, he said: “Everyone is so scared, really scared because now North Korean missiles can reach far.”

In late November, North Korea announced it had successfully tested a Hwsong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile, which it claimed could carry a “super-large heavy warhead” capable of striking the entire mainland United States.

The U.S. and South Korea held a five-day military drill in the aftermath of the test.

Hun Sen wrote on Facebook on Tuesday that he hoped the tensions on the Korean peninsula would ease. “I hope the world will be calm through a constructive dialogue and perhaps a small country like Cambodia is not a target for nuclear attack from North Korea or terrorism. I hope so,” he said.

Cambodia has maintained relatively strong diplomatic relations with Pyongyang since the reign of King Norodom Sihanouk, but in recent years, since the death of Sihanouk in 2012, relations have become less cozy.

VOA Khmer could not contact the North Korean embassy in Cambodia or the foreign ministry for comment.

In September, Prak Sokhon, a foreign minister, told VOA Khmer Cambodia was not happy with aggressive action taken by North Korea and that Cambodia had rejected a request for a North Korean delegation to visit the country.