Magician declines Kim funeral invite

Kyodo

Tenko Hikita, a magician known for her association with deceased North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, has declined the country’s invitation to attend his funeral Wednesday, her management agency said.

“I decided to refrain from taking part in an official event taking all circumstances into consideration,” Hikita, who is also known as Princess Tenko, said in a statement released Monday.

North Korea invited her to the funeral in Pyongyang after it announced Dec. 19 that Kim had died. The magician was invited to North Korea in 1998 and 2000 to perform magic shows and attend private dinners with Kim, her manager said.