Putin hands over unique gifts to Kim Jong-un as russian visit wraps up sooner than expected

Written by Henrik Rothen

Sep.14 - 2023 9:33 PM CET

Photo: Wikipedia Commons
Photo: Wikipedia Commons
The Russian president had prepared something for the North Korean leader.

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During a visit to Russia that concluded earlier than anticipated, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un received special gifts from Russian President Vladimir Putin. According to The Telegraph the parting gifts were a cosmonaut's glove and a rifle.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov expressed uncertainty about the duration of the North Korean delegation's stay but confirmed that no further meetings between the two leaders were planned.

Peskov described the visit as "timely, constructive, and beneficial." Putin and other Russian officials had given Kim a tour of the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia's far east. Although it was initially reported that the leaders would also visit an arms factory and inspect the Pacific Fleet in Vladivostok, those plans seemed to have been scrapped.

Instead, Putin participated in a teleconference with his security council and then flew to Sochi for a meeting with Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko. Information on Kim's whereabouts remains undisclosed.

The gifts of a used cosmonaut glove and a rifle were part of Russia's broader efforts to strengthen ties with North Korea during Kim's first visit to the country since 2019. While no formal agreements were announced, Peskov indicated that the trip had been highly constructive. He also revealed that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov would visit North Korea next month, followed by Putin at an unspecified date.

North Korea's state news agency confirmed the positive impact of the visit on bilateral relations, stating that Putin had gladly accepted an invitation for a future visit to North Korea.

Analysts suggest that Kim, who arrived in Russia on his armored train, was likely seeking collaboration on space technology and food assistance in exchange for ammunition.

Russian media outlets have hailed the visit as a significant diplomatic achievement, with one Kremlin-aligned commentator describing it as a blow against Wall Street.

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