North Korea's Kim Jong-un has accepted an invitation from Russian president Vladimir Putin to attend a military march in Moscow this May, making his first ever foreign visit since coming to power in 2011, Newsweek writes with reference to South Korean media.
"Should reports of North Korea's confirmation be true, Kim Jong-un's attendance to the Russian event would be his first ever state visit since succeeding his father as Supreme Leader of North Korea in December 2011," the author Damien Sharko said.
"If the news is confirmed – and it does seem quite solid – the two interesting aspects are the strengthening of ties with Russia and the implicit snub to China," says Glyn Ford, former MEP, author of North Korea on the Brink and a frequent diplomatic visitor to North Korea.
"Unless Beijing fits in an earlier visit it will be highly symbolic that, for the first time since the Kim Il-sung era, Russia will have apparently superseded China as the North"s closest ally," Ford says.
Kim Jong-un"s allegiance to China has been questioned after he decided to pursue new joint projects in the field of defense and agriculture with Russia, writes the author. "North Korea recently bid to rent 10,000 hectares of Russian farmland, perhaps prompted by worries that Pyongyang had becoming overly growing reliant on Chinese grain," the article writes.
Earlier, world media reported that on behalf of its leader Kim Jong-un, North Korea has created the conditions forcing its border guards to go on a crime in another state.