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MOSCOW, April 30. /TASS/. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un decided against coming to Moscow for Victory Day celebrations on May 9 citing interior affairs in his country as the reason to cancel the planned visit, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman said on Thursday.
"He will not be present [in Moscow]," Dmitry Peskov told journalists. "We were informed of the decision via diplomatic channels. The decision is connected with North Korean domestic affairs."
Peskov did not specify when the scheduled meeting between the Russian and North Korean leaders would take place in the future following the cancelled trip of Kim Jong-un saying that "there are no definite plans at the moment."
The presidential spokesman also rejected allegations that the North Korean leader decided against the visit after Moscow possibly received warnings from some other countries on the inadmissibility of Kim Jong-un’s presence in the Russian capital.
"This is certainly not the case," Peskov said.
Last week presidential aide Yury Ushakov said that North Korean diplomats confirmed their leader’s visit to Russia and his intention to hold a bilateral meeting with Russian President Putin.
"Kim Jong-un's intention to visit Moscow has been confirmed by a number of [North] Korean representatives," Ushakov said a week ago. "We are getting ready for this, in particular, for separate bilateral contacts with the North Korean leader."
South Korea's Yonhap news agency earlier reported that Kim Jong-un had accepted an invitation to visit Moscow.
On December 19, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed to TASS that an invitation had been sent to Kim to take part in the celebrations marking the end of World War Two.
Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov told journalists on December 22: “There are first signals from Pyongyang that the North Korean leader intends to arrive in Moscow and attend the events.”