First Prime Minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh sent top military officials into hardline Khmer Rouge territory yesterday as speculation mounted that guerilla leaders including Pol Pot had fled the country. The delegation to the Anlong Veng area near the border with Thailand followed reports that thousands of guerilla fighters and civilians there were ready to defect to the Government. Prince Ranariddh, whose military aide Nhiek Bun Chhay has spearheaded negotiations with rebel leaders in the north, said the talks aimed to settle the long-running civil war with the rebels' through 'negotiation not bloodshed'. 'Khieu Samphan has requested some people from our side go up there. They will return this evening to report to me,' Prince Ranariddh said, referring to the Khmer Rouge's nominal leader. Prince Ranariddh said rebel leader Pol Pot, his military commander Ta Mok, and his former defence minister Son Sen had refused to negotiate and admitted the three might have already left the country. 'Pol Pot must be sentenced, but how can he be sentenced if he has left the country? I dare not say he has gone to China because I am afraid China will deny this,' he said. Beijing said later it would refuse asylum to Pol Pot and had no dealings with the Khmer Rouge. A Thai Foreign Ministry official in Bangkok denied any knowledge of such a deal. The First Prime Minister, in a likely reference to neighbouring Thailand, said he was not acting 'in isolation' and 'a friendly country' was supporting the talks between the Government and Khieu Samphan. The dispatch of the military officials coincides with unconfirmed reports published in the Bangkok Post that the rebel leaders were in Bangkok and preparing to fly to China. The report cited 'Cambodian sources and field reports', as saying Pol Pot, Ta Mok and Son Sen had left Cambodia and entered Thailand at the Pa Palai pass in Si Sa Ket province on Sunday. 'The arrangement that the trio would leave Cambodia and go to China was agreed in a meeting between high-level Khmer Rouge and government representatives on June 5,' the report said.