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(LEAD) N. Korean leader to visit Russia in May: Kremlin

All Headlines 10:52 January 28, 2015

(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with S. Korean official's comments, other details; CHANGES dateline)

MOSCOW/SEOUL, Jan. 28 (Yonhap) -- The Russian presidential office said Wednesday that North Korea's leader will attend a war anniversary event in Moscow in May.

The heads of state from about 20 nations confirmed their plans to join the ceremony to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory in World War II and North Korea's leader is among them, according to the Kremlin.

The Kremlin earlier sent an invitation to the North's leader, Kim Jong-un.

In a written reply to Yonhap News Agency's inquiry, however, the Kremlin did not mention Kim's name.

"The list of attendees has not been finalized yet, as we continue a process of confirming the attendance of those invited," it said.

South Korean officials took note of the Kremlin's revelation but they were still cautious about whether Kim will actually appear at the Moscow ceremony.

They did not rule out the possibility that North Korea may send Kim Yong-nam, president of the Presidium of the North Korean Supreme People's Assembly and the North's nominal head of state, to Russia.

"When you refer to North Korea's leader, it's ambiguous at times, Under the North's Constitution, Kim Yong-nam represents the country in external relations," a unification ministry official said.

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