SEOUL, Oct. 5 (UPI) -- A top Chinese official could meet with Kim Jong Un during the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Workers' Party, but a top pro-Pyongyang official in Japan may not be in attendance, after not meeting Pyongyang's quota for raising foreign currency.
Liu Yunshan, fifth in China's Communist Party hierarchy, is to lead a delegation of Beijing bureaucrats to Pyongyang to attend the anniversary on Saturday, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.
North Korea had said Liu is to "pay an official goodwill visit," and analysts have said Liu could meet with the North Korean leader.
Chinese President Xi Jinping had sent a message of good wishes to Kim in early September, but the two countries have disagreed over North Korea's nuclear weapons program. China's political influence over North Korea's defense choices also has declined.
Sun Xingjie, an expert in Korean affairs at Jilin University in China, told the South China Morning Post that "the visit will not improve the relationship, but they cannot afford to completely ignore each other."
China remains North Korea's most important economic partner, but Pyongyang has relied on other outside sources of income.
Japan's Sankei Shimbun reported Pyongyang's continued need for foreign currency could have affected a decision at the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan, or Chongryon.
Heo Jong Man, vice chairman of the group that serves as a de facto embassy for North Korea in Japan, is to "postpone attendance" of the anniversary, according to the Sankei.
The newspaper reported Kim Jong Un requested $831,600 in foreign currency from the pro-Pyongyang organization, but Chongryon was only able to raise a fraction of that. The funds were a requirement for attendance, and in Heo's place, co-vice chairman Nam Seung Woo is to travel to Pyongyang, according to multiple sources.
The anniversary could be followed by a rocket launch that could disrupt rapprochement between Seoul and Pyongyang, but South Korean news network YTN reported the two sides exchanged lists of names for a family reunion to be held Oct. 20-26.
North Korea had warned the meeting might be canceled citing Seoul's meddling with its nuclear weapons program, but the prospects of an end to Seoul's May 24 sanctions, and the resumption of tourism to Mount Kumgang, could be playing a major role in its decision to cooperate with the South.