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Hun Sen Urges North Korea To Reconsider Test Launch

In this photo taken Sunday, April 15, 2012, what appears to be a new missile is carried during a mass military parade at the Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the country's founding father Kim Il Sung. The photo shows the warhead's surface is undulated, suggesting it's a thin metal sheet unable to withstand flight pressure, analysts say. Adding more doubt to North Korea's claims of military prowess after its flamboyant rocket launch failure, analysts say the half dozen missiles showcased at the military parade were low-quality fakes. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
PHNOM PENH - Prime Minister Hun Sen called on North Korea to cancel the planned test launch of a rocket this month that experts fear could threaten the security of the United States, as well as Asia.

North Korea has said it plans to launch a test missile between now and Dec. 29, the second attempt at such a launch this year, after a similar test rocket fell apart in midair after takeoff in April.

South Korean and Western officials worry that the tests, which North Korea say are an attempt to develop a space program, could be used for developing long-range rockets capable of reaching the US. International observers also worry over North Koreans’ nuclear program and its ability to produce a nuclear warhead small enough to fit on a missile.

“I hope that the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea will seriously take into consideration all issues,” Hun Sen said in a public speech Monday. “Otherwise the concern is not only from Japan, South Korea, or the United States. It will be our common concern in the region.”

A missile test would “bring no benefit,” Hun Sen said. “Instead it will bring fear to the region and create more tension, which will subsequently lead to disaster in the world.” He also urged North Korea to return to six-party talks over its nuclear program.

Japanese Ambassador Kuroki Masafumi welcomed the message from Hun Sen.

“I think that it is important that many countries make that appeal to North Korea to prevent them from launching the missile and to respect all the resolutions of the UN Security Council,” the ambassador told VOA Khmer Monday.