North Korea To Send Ceremonial Leader to Russia for World War II Celebrations

kpride, May 4, 2015, 9:17 a.m.

North Korea's ceremonial head of state will travel to Russia later this week to attend a World War II anniversary ceremony on behalf of leader Kim Jong-un, Pyongyang's media said Monday.

"Kim Yong-nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of the DPRK, will pay a visit to Russia to take part in the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War to be held in Moscow," the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported. The DPRK is the official name of the communist nation, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

It did not provide details including Kim's exact schedule for the trip.  The Kremlin invited Kim Jong-un to the May 9th massive parade, which it says will draw leaders of more than two dozen nations. The young leader, however, has decided not to attend it due to matters of internal affairs, according to the Kremlin.

Observers in Seoul raised the possibility of a conflict over Moscow's protocol to greet Kim. They also said Kim might have felt burdened for appearing at the multilateral event, where he is expected to be sidelined by leaders of many other countries as Pyongyang is under U.N. sanctions.  There has been no report of an overseas trip by Kim since he took power in December 2011.

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