Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman says the leader of North Korea will not be attending celebrations in Moscow for Victory Day.

The Russian foreign minister had announced in March that Kim Jong Un had accepted the invitation to take part in the May 9 celebrations on the 70th anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany.

It would have been his first foreign trip since taking power three years ago and was highly anticipated. North Korea, however, had never confirmed that he intended to attend.

Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, announced the decision on Thursday.