Dahal cancels North Korea visit

Former prime minister and Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Co-chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal has cancelled his planned visit to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Dahal was set to visit North Korea on the occasion of the country’s National Day on September 9, the day DPRK was proclaimed with Kim II-Sung as premier, at the invitation of Workers Party of North Korea Chairman Kim Jong-un.

DPRK Ambassador to Nepal Kim Yong Hak had extended the invitation to Dahal on behalf of Chairman Kim during his meeting with Dahal and former prime minister and senior NCP (NCP) leader Madhav Kumar Nepal at the party headquarters in Parisdanda on July 9.

Sources said Dahal had accepted the invitation in the meeting.

However, Dahal later decided not to visit DPRK following feedback from party leaders and cadres, and told members of his party’s Foreign Affairs Department that it was not possible for him to visit DPRK due to his busy schedule, sources said.

“The decision not to visit DPRK was taken to maintain good relations with the international community, including western countries,” an NCP (NCP) leader told THT.

With Dahal cancelling his trip, the party plans to send someone else to DPRK, but the name is yet to be finalised, the NCP (NCP) leader said, adding that the decision would be conveyed to the DPRK government through DPRK’s Ambassador to Nepal.

NCP (NCP) Spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha said the party had decided to send Dahal to North Korea considering the fact that the peace process had just started in the Korean peninsula and Dahal could share Nepal’s experience of the peace process.

“The party had taken a decision to this effect in a meeting in presence of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli,” Shrestha told the Himalayan Times. “But I do not know for what technical reasons Dahal cancelled the trip,” he added.

Following the cancellation of his North Korea visit, Dahal is scheduled to make a five-day visit to India starting September 7 and a week-long visit to China from September 17.

Kim Jong-Un has been serving as party chairman, head of the Central Military Commission of North Korea and chairperson of the State Affairs Commission since 9 May 2016. The Workers’ Party of Korea was formed in 1949.

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