Choe Ryong Hae, secretary of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, will attend the September 3 parade, Chinese deputy foreign minister Zhang Ming told a news briefing.
Her decision was apparently based on her resolve to maintain good ties between South Korea and China amid regional security challenges from North Korea.
“Kim might have wanted special treatment from China for his first visit to a foreign country and realized that the Chinese would not meet his needs”, said Jeon.
“Choe’s position does not match” that of Park, he said.
“Park finally chose to attend the military parade in Beijing because of the reality of interdependent economic relations between China and South Korea“, Cui said.
The snub by major Western leaders will leave Chinese president Xi Jinping to stand with leaders and officials from Russian Federation, Sudan, Venezuela and North Korea at his highest-profile event of 2015.
The two Koreas were at loggerheads over propaganda broadcasts Seoul resumed earlier this month after two South Korean soldiers were maimed by box mines the North had planted in the demilitarized zone. In May 2013, Choe traveled to Beijing and met with President Xi.
The third set of relations Beijing needs to balance is that between North and South Korea, Mu said.
North Korea’s isolated and small economy has few links with the outside world apart from China, which has been a key partner for decades and remains the North’s main trading partner and sole influential diplomatic ally. During the August 25 press conference, Zhang stressed that the meaning of the commemoration was “to remember history, love peace, and open up the future together”. Beijing also announced the attendance of veterans from the Flying Tigers, a volunteer group of US Air Force pilots who fought against Japan, and descendents of Norman Bethune, a Canadian physician who treated members of the Red Army.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will also not attend, in part because of concerns over China’s military expansion in the region.