Kim Jong-un has accepted an invitation to visit Moscow this May, making a rare trip out of North Korea, according to Russian officials.
It will be his first official foreign visit since assuming power in 2011.
Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, confirmed Kim’s visit to Mashable, saying, “Yes, he is going to attend,” but added that it was “a little bit early to speak about” specifics.
The North Korean leader will visit Moscow to take part in the May 9 commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. North Korea’s state-run news agency Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) has yet to confirm the visit.
Kim is one of 26 world leaders planning to attend Russia’s event marking the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. However, many Western leaders have declined invitations to the commemoration due to Russia’s involvement in the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.
Kim’s visit is the latest move in the so-called “year of friendship” between Russia and North Korea, which aims to deepen the two countries’ political and economic ties.
KCNA reported on Thursday that Russian Ambassador to North Korea Alexander Matsegora hosted North Korean officials (not including Kim) at a Pyongyang restaurant to celebrate the 66th anniversary of an agreement on economic and cultural cooperation between the two countries.
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