While Kim Jong-un visited Russia, the North Korean leader and Vladimir Putin exchanged various gifts, including rifles and a glove from a Russian cosmonaut’s space suit.
The North Korean dictator met with Putin on Wednesday (Sept 13) at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Amur region of the Russian Far East.
According to experts, the purpose of the visit was to discuss space technology and securing artillery and arms from North Korea for the Ukrainian war.
Kim also visited a factory in Amur that makes Russia’s most modern fighter jets, Russian news agencies reported.
Briefing the reporters on Thursday (Sept 14), Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Putin gave Kim a Russian-produced rifle “of the highest quality”, and in return received a North Korean rifle, among other gifts.
He also gave Kim a glove from a glove from a spacesuit “that had been in space several times”.
Avid wildlife enthusiast
Though not much of a hunter himself, Putin, who is an avid wildlife enthusiast, loves to explore nature.
There are several shirtless photos of Putin over the years engaging in outdoor pursuits in the Russian countryside with other senior officials.
Peskov also said that Putin “gratefully” accepted an invitation to visit North Korea, and intends to visit the country tentatively in October.
He said that Moscow will first “quickly prepare” to send Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to Pyongyang, before a Putin visit can be arranged.
It would be Putin’s second trip to North Korea. He last visited in July 2000 to meet Kim’s late father Kim Jong-il, just months after being elected to the presidency. Kim last visited Russia in 2019.
Kim to stay more days
While Putin returned to Moscow after their meeting on Wednesday, Kim’s visit is expected to continue for several more days, the Kremlin said.
In Pyongyang, North Korea’s Central News Agency praised Kim Jung Un’s summit with Putin, saying the pair held “historic” talks.
Kim Jung Un’s visit to Russia is his first foreign trip since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out.
Both countries are under a raft of sanctions, and Kim Jung Un’s visit has sparked widespread concern over illicit arms agreements.
After the summit, Putin told reporters that he saw “possibilities” for military cooperation.