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North Korea's Kim Jong Un Cancels His First Trip Abroad

A Kremlin spokesperson said the North Korean leader "has decided to stay in Pyongyang."

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The trip was supposed to be Kim's first international trip since he assumed power in 2011, taking over from his father.

However, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Thursday that Russia has been told Kim "has decided to stay in Pyongyang."

"This decision is related to (North) Korea's internal affairs," Peskov said, according to Reuters

Russia's foreign minister had previously said that Kim was planning to travel to Moscow to attend events to mark the anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe, Reuters reported.

However, North Korea never publicly confirmed he would be going, the Associated Press reported.

South Korean officials said the country's spy agency had expected Kim would in fact attend, Reuters reported.

A South Korean expert told Reuters he wasn't sure why Kim decided not to.

"By visiting Russia, [Kim] would have been able to exert pressure on China and also on South Korea," Yang Moo-jin said, "and he would have been able to improve his own image by going over there with his attractive wife and speak in English, which he surely must be able to do."

Stephanie McNeal is a social news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Stephanie McNeal at stephanie.mcneal@buzzfeed.com.

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