A Russian diplomat in Pyongyang has confirmed that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un accepted Moscow’s invitation to Russia’s Victory Day, the Brazilian ambassador to Pyongyang said.
Recently, the Kremlin told VOA's Korean Service it was “working through all the logistical questions” with North Korea for Kim’s visit. But Pyongyang has not commented on the trip.
Russia invited world leaders, including Kim, to the May 9 ceremony in Moscow marking the 70th anniversary of Russia’s victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.
Roberto Colin, Brazil's ambassador to North Korea, said Russian diplomats in Pyongyang were preparing for the visit.
“My Russian colleague has confirmed the invitation and the acceptance of the leader," Colin said in an email this week to VOA's Korean service. "The Russians are very active here, and my guess is that the marshal will travel to Moscow.”
The ambassador said North Korean officials refused to comment on Kim’s trip. “My local counterparts have never confirmed nor denied the trip to Moscow,” he said.
On Wednesday, South Korea’s intelligence agency told lawmakers that Kim was likely to travel to Moscow, according to a South Korean official who is familiar with the subject. The official, who asked to remain anonymous, told the VOA Korean service it did not appear that hotel rooms were reserved for his visit. The official said Kim could stay at the North Korean Embassy in Moscow, adding that the embassy is equipped with sufficient lodging.
Kim is not known to have visited a foreign country or met a head of state since he took power in late 2011.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye was invited to the event but decided not to attend. The United States will be represented by its envoy to Moscow at the ceremony, according to the State Department.
Eunjee Kim contributed to this report.