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North Korea leader Kim to meet with Putin in Russia

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korean state media says leader Kim Jong Un will visit Russia and meet with President Vladimir Putin.

The Korean Central News Agency released a statement Tuesday saying Kim would soon pay a visit to the Russian Federation at Putin’s invitation.

A date for the meeting was not immediately released.

The Kremlin said in a brief statement Thursday that Kim will visit Russia “in the second half of April,” but gave no further details.

Russia is interested in gaining broader access to North Korea’s mineral resources, including rare metals. Pyongyang needs Russia’s electricity supplies and wants to attract Russian investment to modernize the Soviet-built industrial plants, railways and other infrastructure.

The announcement comes as Pyongyang has upped its criticism of the United States as nuclear negotiations appear to be deadlocked.