A special envoy of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un left Pyongyang on Monday for Russia to discuss ways to improve trade and political ties.

Choe Ryong Hae, a senior official in the ruling Workers' Party and one of Kim's close associates, is scheduled to stay in Russia until Nov. 24.

Russia's foreign ministry has said Moscow hopes to discuss trade and economic ties, the situation on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia, and other international issues. Choe will visit Moscow as well as Khabarovsk and Vladivostok in Russia's Far East.

Choe visited Beijing last year as a special envoy and was a member of a high-profile North Korean delegation that visited South Korea in early October during the Asian Games.