February 25, 2024

Foibles and fears: Why Kim Jong Un cancelled his Russia visit

Speculation of coup risk in Pyongyang or S. Korean president's decision not to attend unrelated

A widely anticipated event is not happening. As the Russian president’s press secretary stated for the record this week: Marshal Kim Jong Un will not be participating in forthcoming celebrations for VE day in Moscow.

This is hardly a surprising announcement, since many observers, myself included, were rather skeptical about whether the young Kim would go to Moscow in the first place. But though the skeptics were proven right, that does not stop us from speculating as to why. Kim Jong Un’s decision not to go actually made sense, but one can still ask the question as to why the North Korean government contemplated the visit at first place, or, at least, did nothing to discourage the impression that such a visit was being contemplated.