Reports suggest that North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un is unwell (Photo Reuters)
North Korea leader Kim Jong-un is sending special envoy to Russia next week before his own possible visit to Moscow.Reuters

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is sending a special envoy to Russia next week before his own possible visit to Moscow, reports from Russia, China and the Korean peninsula suggested on Friday.

Kim plans to send a top Communist Party official to Russia next week as his special envoy, according to Moscow's foreign ministry. But this official North Korean trip is likely to be a prelude to a visit to Moscow by the North Korean leader himself, some observers in South Korea said, according to Yonhap News Agency.

Kim is also expected to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is attending the G-20 summit in Australia this weekend.

Pyongyang's state media KCNA earlier said on Friday that Choe Ryong-hae, the secretary of The Workers' Party of Korea, will begin his weeklong trip to Russia on Monday.

The official is expected to find ways of upgrading the level of political dialogue and economy-trade ties between the two sides, Moscow's foreign ministry said in a press release.

This comes after Russia's Development Minister Alexander Gulushka said in October that Kremlin was trying to invest US $25 billion to upgrade infrastructure and a 3,500-km railroads in North Korea in exchange for the country's natural resources, China's Xinhua News agency reported.

The report added that the two countries are planning to set up a business council after they agreed to scrap visas for each other's citizens.

Also in September, the Russian government announced that Moscow and Pyongyang would make attempts to boost bilateral cooperation in all fields possible.

The upcoming trip to Moscow by the official envoy and possibly Kim himself comes at a time when the United Nations plans to vote on a strongly worded resolution against the reclusive communist nation for its poor human rights record. A draft resolution proposes for the country and its leader to be referred to the International Criminal Court for crimes against the humanity.

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