SEOUL – South Korea has opted to send five military observers but no troops to a military parade set for early next month in Beijing to mark the 70th anniversary of its victory in World War II, Yonhap News Agency reported on Monday from Beijing, citing a diplomatic source.
“South Korea is not included on the list of some 10 nations that will send troops to the Chinese military parade,” the source was quoted as saying.
South Korean diplomats in Beijing were quoted as saying that Seoul feels awkward about the military parade aimed at demonstrating China’s military clout at a time China is embroiled in territorial disputes with Japan and other neighbors.
Another embarrassing point is that the military parade will be staged at Tiananmen Square, where the ruling Communist Party crushed prodemocracy demonstrations in a bloody crackdown in 1989, they said.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye is scheduled to be in China on Sept. 2-4 to attend the war anniversary events, but it remains unclear whether she will attend the military parade on Sept. 3.
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