World Bulletin / News Desk
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has confirmed he will attend celebrations in Russiain May marking the Soviet victory over Germany in World War Two, South Korea's Yonhap news agency said on Wednesday, citing a Kremlin spokesman.
The trip would be Kim's first foreign visit since taking power in the reclusive state in 2011, succeeding his father Kim Jong Il, who died suddenly, and is likely to come before he visits China, the North's main ally.
"About 20 state leaders have confirmed their attendance, and the North Korean leader is among them," South Korea's Yonhap news agency quoted the office of Kremlin spokesman as saying in response to its question to President Vladimir Putin's spokesman.
The North's relations with China, on the other hand, have cooled since Kim took over and then, in 2013, defied international warnings and U.N. sanctions to conduct a third nuclear test.
But China has taken a sterner position on its neighbour's atomic ambitions.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has met South Korea's President Park Geun-hye six times since both of them took office in 2012, underscoring strengthening political and economic ties. Xi has not met the North's Kim.
Russia has pushed ahead with plans for natural gas and transport projects with the North in the hope of boosting gas exports to Asia and exporting coal to South Korea through an experimental consortium based in the North.
Russia marks the victory anniversary every year on May 9.
Kim's father was invited to the 60th anniversary celebrations in 2005 but did not attend, Yonhap saidLast Mod: 28 Ocak 2015, 09:03