Home Globe Putin and Kim exchange gifts of limousine, tea set and ‘busts’ in North Korea

Putin and Kim exchange gifts of limousine, tea set and ‘busts’ in North Korea

by editor

By Jemma CrewBBC News

EPA Mr Putin behind the wheel of a car with Mr Kim next to him in the passenger seatEPA

Mr Putin gifted Mr Kim – a car enthusiast – a Russian-made Aurus car during his visit

A Russian-made limousine, tea set and artwork are among the gifts exchanged by Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.

Mr Putin was welcomed to North Korea with a lavish ceremony marking his first visit to the country in almost a quarter of a century.

He was met with smiles and hugs from leader Mr Kim, while stallions, balloons and huge posters of the two leaders adorned the surrounding buildings in Pyongyang, with a tea party and gala concert to come.

Mr Putin, who spent about two hours speaking one-to-one with Mr Kim, gave the North Korean leader a luxury Aurus limousine, Russian state media reported, citing Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov.

The two heads of state were pictured taking a spin in an Aurus, with Mr Putin behind the wheel – but it was unclear whether it was the newly-gifted car.

Back in February, Mr Putin gifted Mr Kim another of the Russian-made Auruses – a sedan of the type used by the Russian leader himself. It was delivered to North Korea in violation of UN sanctions.

Mr Kim is believed to be a car enthusiast and to have a collection of luxury foreign vehicles. It is not clear which Aurus model he was given this time.

He has been seen in a Maybach limousine, several Mercedes, a Rolls-Royce Phantom and a Lexus sports utility vehicle.

EPA Mr Putin and Mr Kim smile and reach out towards each other to shake hands, with a parade in the backgroundEPA

The Russian leader was also said to have given Mr Kim a tea set and an admiral’s dirk – a dagger.

Mr Ushakov said the tea set was “very beautiful”, according to Russia’s Tass state news agency.

Meanwhile, the aid said Mr Putin was given “also very good presents”.

He said they included artwork, which he hinted was “related to the image” of the president, including busts.

Mr Ushakov said they were all “rather skilful”, Tass reported.

Getty An Aurus Senat car drives in front of flags and behind a figure in military uniformGetty

Mr Putin travelled in an Aurus Senat for his inauguration ceremony at the Kremlin in Moscow in May

The show of unity comes at a time when both countries face international isolation.

Ties between the two states have increased in recent years, especially since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

North Korea is thought to be supplying Russia with artillery, rockets and ballistic missiles for the war, despite international sanctions on both countries.

Both sides deny breaching sanctions.

During their talks, Mr Putin thanked Mr Kim for his “consistent and unwavering support for Russian policy, including in the Ukrainian direction”.

Mr Kim said their two countries’ relations were “entering a period of new flowering”, calling Russia North Korea’s “most honest friend”.

They have signed a deal to help each other in case of “aggression”.

The pair last met in September, when Mr Kim visited the Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Russian Far East. It was his first trip abroad in four years.

During that visit, he inspected Mr Putin’s own Aurus Senat limousine and was invited to sit in the back seat. They also swapped guns as gifts.

Mr Putin has invited Mr Kim to Moscow for their next meeting.

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