01/22/2015, 00.00
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Kim Jong-un chooses Russia for first state visit

"Pyongyang accepts" invitation to visit the country for the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. List of invitees includes South Korean President Park Geun-hye, who has yet to confirm her presence. The North Korean dictator interrupts the family tradition and does not go to Beijing.

Seoul (AsiaNews) - North Korea has "accepted" the invitation of the Russian government, and confirmed that its dictator Kim Jong-un will participate in May 2015 in celebrations for the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. This was announced by the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, who added: "All those who participated in the coalition against the Nazis have been invited to the celebrations. The leaders of 20 nations, including Chinese President Xi Jinping, have already confirmed their presence".

The list also includes the South Korean President Park Geun-hye, given that in 1945 the Korean Peninsula was still united. Her office has made it clear that the Russian invitation "is being seriously considered", because "it could lead to a bilateral meeting with Kim," but that an official decision "has yet to be taken". A senior official of the "Blue House" [official residence of the leader of Seoul ed] said: "In May, It's still about four months until the Russian celebrations, and no one knows how inter-Korean relations will develop by then".

In addition to the possible meeting between the leaders of Seoul and Pyongyang, analysts stress that the decision of Kim Jong-un to travel to Moscow in his first State visit marks a change in the history of the dictatorship: the predecessors of the current leader (his father Kim Jong-il and his grandfather Kim Il-sung) had in fact both always given priority to China from the diplomatic point of view.

The founder of the dynasty, Kim Il-sung, had no major problems: educated and bankrolled by the Soviets, he maintained relations with Mao Zedong without disturbing Stalin. His son instead, who reigned in the turbulent years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, he had in fact forgotten Moscow spending most of his time in Beijing.

According to one expert, interviewed by DailyNK, for the current leader Kim Jong-un has "two possibilities. On the one hand can choose to overturn the strategy of his father and devote his attention only to Russia. Also because relations with the China are not good at the moment. On the other, he can try to do as his grandfather, playing on the rivalry between Moscow and Beijing to get the most out of both. But times have changed and the world is no longer divided into blocks, and this is likely to come to a bad end".


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