North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un ‘to visit Russia’
Russia says North Korea’s leader has accepted an invitation to Moscow in May, South Korea’s Yonhap reports.
The news agency cites a written response from the Kremlin, but says it does not mention Kim Jong-un by name.
Yonhap quotes a Unification Ministry official as saying the reference to the leader could be ambiguous, as Kim Yong-nam is the nominal head of state.
Kim Jong-un has not made any overseas visits since taking power in North Korea in late 2011.
His first destination will been keenly watched for what it might indicate about his policies and strategy.
The late Mr Kim visited Russia in August 2011, shortly before his death. But he paid more regular visits to China which, under his leadership, was seen as Pyongyang’s closest ally.
If Kim Jong-un did choose to visit Moscow ahead of Beijing, the decision would be seen as significant – and as a snub to Chinese President Xi Jinping.
In recent years, China has come under pressure from Japan, South Korea and the US to exert more pressure on Pyongyang over its nuclear programme.