In what seems to be signs of deteriorating relations between China and North Korea, no dignitaries from Beijing has so far been invited for the grand function next week that will commemorate the third death anniversary of former supreme leader Kim Jong-il.
"According to my knowledge, North Korea has not formally invited China to attend the third anniversary of the death of Kim Jong-il in Pyongyang," a diplomatic source with knowledge of the North Korea-China relations told the South Korean Yonhap News Agency on Monday. "So, the Chinese government has not considered sending a delegation to the Dec. 17 ceremony in Pyongyang."
Kim Jong-il, whose persistence on nuclear proliferation triggered regional tensions for over a decade, had died of heart failure on 17 December 2011.
The third death anniversary of the former leader – infamous in the international community for his iron-fist rule and provocative military-style government system – is supposed to be a significant one for the current leader, Kim Jong-un.
The observance will officially end the three-year-long national mourning for the father figure, thereby letting young Kim consolidate more power and authority, having already exercised the worst possible dictatorial regime in the country.
The relationship between the two communist regimes – considered to be allies until earlier – has been on a steep decline ever since the North's third nuclear test early in 2013, which was strongly condemned by Beijing. Chinese authorities were further irked, ahead of the second anniversary of the father's death last year, when the young Kim shockingly purged and executed his own uncle, Jang Song-thaek.
Jang's death not only meant the demise of the No 2 in the country, but also the deterioration in its economic relations with China, for which he was particularly credited.