BEIJING, April 9 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's top envoy to Russia headed home on Tuesday, apparently to attend a major parliamentary meeting scheduled for this week.
Pyongyang's Ambassador to Russia Kim Hyong-jun was seen at the international airport in Beijing earlier in the day on his way to board a Pyongyang-bound Air Koryo flight.
Observers said that the ambassador appears to be heading home to attend Thursday's first session of the 14th Supreme People's Assembly since new deputies were elected to the parliament.
He was reportedly among the 687 deputies elected to the parliament in nationwide elections last month.
Thursday's parliamentary session is drawing keen global attention as it could provide a glimpse into North Korea's next steps following the breakdown of February's summit between leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump.
Some speculate that the ambassador's return might be aimed at preparing for leader Kim's visit to Russia for his first-ever summit with President Vladimir Putin.
Recently, Kim Chang-son, known as the leader's de facto chief of staff, visited Moscow and Vladivostok, spawning speculation that a Russia trip by the leader might be imminent. Last week, Russia's Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev visited Pyongyang.
Five years after its full nuke armament claim, N. Korea's threat becomes real, further complicated
(News Focus) S. Korea grapples with calls for nuclear armament
Talk of 'normalizing' GSOMIA raises hope, skepticism around Seoul-Tokyo ties
S. Korea, U.S., Japan close ranks amid growing N.K. threats
N. Korea says month-old virus crisis under control, but skepticism lingers