Image Source : REUTERS Vladimir Putin gets grand welcome in North Korea

Following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s arrival in North Capital national capital, Pyangong early on Wednesday, a widely circulated video captured a humorous exchange between the two leaders. As they approached a car surrounded by state officials, a moment of hesitation ensued over who would enter first. Putin, placing his hand on Kim Jong-Un’s back, gestured for him to proceed, but Kim insisted that Putin should go ahead. Eventually, Putin entered through the front door while Kim circumvented the car to access the backseat from the opposite side.

Pyongyang’s streets were lined with portraits of Russian President Vladimir Putin, footage released by North Korea’s state-run television KRT showed on Wednesday, as the leader arrived for his first trip to the North Korean capital in 24 years. North Korean and Russian flags were seen hanging side-by-side as the facade of the unfinished and vacant 101-story pyramid-shaped Ryugyong Hotel was seen brightly lit with a giant message reading “Welcome Putin”.

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Putin gets red carpet welcome in North Korea  

Putin’s Russian-made Aurus limousine carrying him and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un passed through the decorated streets during the start of a visit likely to reshape decades of Russia-North Korea relations at a time when both countries face international isolation. Earlier today, both leaders met in the national capital where North vowed unconditional support to the Russian policies.

Russian state media said Putin and Kim spoke face-to-face for about two hours in a meeting that was originally planned for one hour. Speaking before the summit, Putin thanked Kim for North Korea’s support in Ukraine and said the two countries would sign an agreement to boost their partnership as both “fight against the imperialist hegemonistic policies of the U.S. and its satellites against the Russian Federation.”

North Korea is under heavy UN Security Council sanctions over its weapons program, while Russia also faces sanctions by the United States and its Western partners over its aggression in Ukraine.

Russia media said earlier that Kim will host a reception, and Putin is expected to leave Wednesday evening for Vietnam. Before the summit, Putin hailed ties that date to the Soviet army fighting the Japanese military on the Korean Peninsula in the closing moments of World War II, and Moscow’s support for Pyongyang during the Korean War.

(With inputs from agency)

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