North Korea’s Kim Jong Un Invited to Asian African Conference in Indonesia

D-Bo , Feb. 22, 2015, 2:13 p.m.

Indonesia has officially invited the North Korean leader to an international meeting to be held Jakarta in April although his attendance has yet to be confirmed, government sources said Sunday.

Along with leader Kim Jong-un, the Indonesian government has also invited Kim Yong-nam, North Korea's nominal head of state and the president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, the sources noted.

Indonesia is planning to host the Asian-African Conference from April 22-23 in Jakarta to be followed by a key ceremony in the Indonesian city of Bandung on April 24 to mark the 60th anniversary of the Bandung meeting in 1955. The nonaligned movement emerged from the 1955 gathering.

A Taiwanese news outlet reported last month Kim may attend the April meeting, but it has yet to be confirmed.  If Kim does so, it would be his first visit to a foreign country since abruptly taking power in December 2011 following the death of his father, Kim Jong-il. The North Korean leader is also reportedly planning to join a ceremony in Moscow in May to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory in World War II.

The Indonesian government has also invited President Park Geun-hye to the April gathering although sources said she may not appear at the meeting due to scheduling conflicts.  Still, the Indonesian meeting may draw heavy attention for the possibility of the North Korean leaders' contact with South Korean and Chinese officials, with Chinese President Xi Jinping and high-level South Korean diplomats expected to join the meeting.

The communist North has apparently made much of the Bandung Conference, attempting to use it for diplomatic campaigns.  The North's founding leader Kim Il-sung joined a 1965 ceremony to mark the 10th anniversary of the birth of the conference. The late leader Kim Jong-il accompanied him.  A meeting between then South Korean Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan and Kim Yong-nam was arranged in 2005 when the North Korean nominal head attended the 50th anniversary.

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