South Korean President Park Geun-hye is to travel to China next month to attend a ceremony marking the anniversary of victory over Japan in World War II, her office said yesterday.
China plans to hold a series of events to commemorate the anniversary, including a lavish military parade featuring aerial displays and its latest weapons.
Park’s office said in a statement she is to attend a Sept. 3 anniversary ceremony, but her aides said Park remains undecided on attending the military parade set for the same day.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to attend the Chinese celebrations though many Western leaders might not do so.
Japan colonized the Korean Peninsula and occupied parts of China before and during World War II. Many people in South Korea and China still harbor bitter resentment toward Japan.
China assisted North Korea and fought against South Korea during the 1950 to 53 Korean War, while American-led UN troops fought alongside South Korea. China and South Korea now have strong trade ties.
China is North Korea’s last major ally and biggest aid benefactor. It is not known if North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is to attend the Chinese ceremonies. If he attends, it would be his first known travel outside the country since taking power upon the death of his father Kim Jong-il in late 2011.
Earlier this year, there was speculation Kim Jong-un would attend May’s Victory Day celebration in Russia, but he did not go and sent his parliament head to the event that marked the 70th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.
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