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Russia Sent Invitations to Two Koreas

Posted January. 16, 2005 21:56,   


It was reported on January 16 that the Russian government sent invitations to the two Koreas while inviting many other heads of nations to the 60th anniversary of Russia`s World War II Victory Day celebration.

It is unclear if President Roh Moo-hyun and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il will attend the celebration personally. But many people are paying keen attention, as there is a possibility that an inter-Korean summit could be held if both leaders attend.

Kim Jong-min, a spokesman for Chung Wa Dae, said on that day that the Russian government sent an invitation to the celebration to the South Korean government via the Russian Embassy to Korea at the end of last year, and that President Roh is weighing whether he will attend the event. The government is planning to make a decision on President Roh’s participation by end of this year and inform Russia of the decision.

The government commented on Russia’s invitation of the North, saying, “It is hard for the South Korean government to confirm it, as the Russian government sent invitations privately.” However, a government official said, “It seems that North Korea also received an invitation,” adding, “But, it is too premature to talk about an inter-Korean summit as it is as much as four months before the celebration.”

He went on to say, “The Kremlin sent the invitation to the governments without the names of heads of nations written on them,” explaining, “It is yet to be clear who will attend, North Korean leader Kim Joing Il or Kim Yong Nam, head of North Korea`s legislative Supreme People`s Assembly, who is playing the role of the head of the nation in international affairs.”

Russia reportedly decided to have a large-scale ceremony for the 60th anniversary of its declaration of victory over Nazi Germany on May 9, 1945, and sent the invitations to 55 nations, including the United States, China, Germany, and France.

Jung-Hun Kim jnghn@donga.com kimkihy@donga.com