Norodom Sihanouk’s special relationship with North Korea: A Preliminary Survey

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Sitthiphon Kruarattikan


The article explores Norodom Sihanouk’s ties with North Korea since his first meeting with Kim Il Sung in 1965 until his demise in 2012, by arguing that there were at least two factors for the solidification of relationship. The first factor was Sihanouk and Kim Il Sung, in their quest for national autonomy, shared a mentality of small state surrounded by dominant neighboring countries. The second was that, by the end of the 1970s, Cambodia had been devastated by years of wars and political turbulences, like North Korea after the Korean War (1950-1953). Sihanouk therefore saw North Korea’s successes in postwar reconstruction as an example for the Cambodian people to rebuild their ravaged country.

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How to Cite
Kruarattikan, S. (2019). Norodom Sihanouk’s special relationship with North Korea: A Preliminary Survey. Interdisciplinary Research Review, 14(4), 51–54. Retrieved from
Research Articles


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