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North Korea's Kim greets Russia's Putin at Pyongyang airport

World Wednesday 19/June/2024 09:19 AM
By: DW
North Korea's Kim greets Russia's Putin at Pyongyang airport

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un welcomed Russian President Vladimir Putin to Pyongyang in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Putin and Kim met on the runway at the capital's airport before sharing a limousine ride towards the city center with a large police escort.

As North Korean state media outlet KCNA described it in English, the two leaders were able to share their "pent-up inmost thoughts" during this conversation and agreed to deepen the two countries' relations. 

Putin's first trip in 24 years

KCNA called the two countries' partnership an "engine for accelerating the building of a new multi-polar world" and said Putin's visit demonstrated the strength of the ties.

Putin also issued a presidential order before departing Moscow declaring his intention to sign a "comprehensive strategic partnership treaty" with North Korea while in Pyongyang.

Since its invasion of Ukraine, Russia has used improving ties with North Korea as a way to needle Washington, while heavily sanctioned Pyongyang has benefitted from the promise of closer ties from Moscow.

The United States and its allies accuse North Korea of providing weaponry for Russia to use in Ukraine in exchange for help from Moscow with its space program — but Russia and North Korea reject charges of sanctions-defying weapons transfers.

The two leaders left the airport in the Russian Aurus Senat limousine the Kremlin had gifted to North Korea earlier this year.

Russia reverted to the Soviet-era custom of using a homemade presidential limo in 2018 after a couple of decades of using Mercedes. The Aurus name hails from the Au chemical abbreviation for gold combined with RUS for Russia.