Senior North Korean official to attend China WW2 parade next week

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 24, 2015 11:43 PM

BEIJING (Reuters) - A senior North Korean official will visit China next week to attend a military parade in Beijing marking 70 years since the end of World War Two, a top Chinese diplomat said on Tuesday.

Choe Ryong Hae, secretary of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, will attend the Sept. 3 parade, Chinese deputy foreign minister Zhang Ming told a news briefing.

Other foreign leaders attending include Russian President Vladimir Putin, Sudan President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Zhang said.

No major Western leaders are attending. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has also decided not to attend, in part because of concerns over China's military expansion in the region.

Choe at one point was North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's number two on the powerful National Defence Commission. He traveled to Beijing in 2013 where he met President Xi Jinping, and to Moscow last year for meetings with Putin.

(Reporting by Megha Rajagopalan in BEIJING and James PEARSON in SEOUL; Writing by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Paul Tait)