UPDATE: North Korea claims Kim Yong Nam, its nominal head of state, will visit Iran instead of Kim Jong Un, according to the BBC.
Half a year after taking over for his late father Kim Jong Il, North Korea's young head of state is planning his first official trip abroad next week. NBC News reports that Kim Jong Un is headed to Iran to attend the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit.
Just what sort of meeting would draw the leader of the hermetic state halfway across the world? AFP explains:
The NAM, born at the height of the Cold War, brings together nations that consider themselves independent of the world's major power blocs. The organisation counts a total 119 countries plus the Palestinian territories.
Kim will be rubbing elbows with the likes of India, Egypt, and Cuba, AFP notes.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the United States isn't thrilled about the whole thing. "[W]e frankly don't think that Iran is deserving of these high-level presences that are going there," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said, according to Fox News.
The visit would be a significant departure from the rule of Kim's father. The Telegraph notes that the North Korean leader will be flouting his father's style just by getting on an airplane.