North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will visit Russia later this month for talks with President Vladimir Putin, Russian news service RIA Novosti reported Thursday, citing the Kremlin.
Kim will make the visit at Putin's invitation, the news service and other Russian news outlets quoted the Kremlin as announcing in a press release. The report did not give further details, including dates and the venue of the summit between Kim and Putin.
Speculation has been rising that the two leaders would hold their first summit in Russia's Far East city of Vladivostok next week when Putin travels to the Far East on his way to China for an international conference.
Japan's Kyodo News, citing unidentified officials sources, reported that Kim plans to make a three-day visit to Russia beginning on Wednesday. Kyodo said that Kim plans to travel by train and hold a summit with Putin on Russky Island off the city of Vladivostok.
Russian media have reported on the widely expected summit, citing some restrictions being imposed at facilities in the city bordering the North. Japan's Fuji News Network also aired footage of a man presumed to be leader Kim's protocol chief, Kim Chang-son, checking around a train station in the Russian city.
If the summit takes place, it will be the first meeting between leaders of the two countries in eight years, after Kim's late father, former leader Kim Jong-il, met then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in 2011.