The business of staying friendly with North Korea

Analysts say S-E Asia states see value in being friendly with Pyongyang despite tensions

PHNOM PENH • Maximum pressure is technically still in effect against North Korea, despite the current frenzy of diplomacy.

But it was more like "maximum leisure" at the Pyongyang Restaurant in Phnom Penh on a recent night. The place was packed with more than 100 Chinese tourists washing down US$38 (S$50) plates of fish with US$70 bottles of North Korean liquor. They rushed to present bouquets of flowers to, and take selfies with, the North Korean singers belting out Chinese ballads.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 10, 2018, with the headline 'The business of staying friendly with N. Korea'. Print Edition | Subscribe