The South Korean government believes that reports released by Iranian, German and South Korean news agencies earlier today stating that Kim Jong Eun is going to attend the upcoming Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in Tehran are false.
The information, which cited a NAM spokesperson, was first published by Iranian news agency Tabnak early on the 21st. However, the South Korean government has decided that this was probably based on a misunderstanding.
An official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT) told Daily NK, “The results of our checks with the Iranians so far are that it is untrue. It is thought that Iran, which is the chair country of NAM, mentioned ‘the North Korean leader’, not ‘Kim Jong Eun’.”
A second official from the Ministry of Unification agreed, saying that although the government is not yet sure officially, “If Iran said that the ‘North Korean leader’ would attend then that means Kim Young Nam is going to attend, not Kim Jong Eun.”
Although Kim Il Sung did attend the NAM summit in Indonesia in 1965, that was an exception; neither Kim Il Sung nor Kim Jong Il attended on any other occasion.
Under the North Korean constitution it is the task of Supreme People’s Assembly Permanent Chairperson Kim Young Nam to represent the country at such overseas events, and it was he who represented North Korea at the previous three NAM summits; in Malaysia in 2003, Cuba in 2006 and Egypt in 2009.