The grandiose images of the meeting between Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin

The grandiose images of the meeting between Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin
The grandiose images of the meeting between Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin

On an official visit to North Korea this Wednesday, June 19, Vladimir Putin was welcomed with great fanfare by North Korean President Kim Jong Un. A flashy display testifying to the ties of friendship that unite the two countries.

Flowers, red carpet and military ceremony. This Wednesday, June 19, Russian President Vladimir Putin was ceremonially welcomed in Pyongyang by North Korean President Kim Jong Un, during a state visit during which the leaders of the two countries, under sanctions, promised to strengthen their ties.

This is Vladimir Putin’s first visit to North Korea in 24 years and the second meeting between the two men in less than a year.

Red carpet and special convoy

After landing in North Korea early this morning, Vladimir Putin was received by Kim Jong Un on the red-carpeted tarmac at Pyongyang airport, kicking off a packed visit of symbols. The meeting between the two leaders was broadcast live on television.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waits for Russian President Vladimir Putin on the tarmac at Pyongyang airport, June 19, 2024. – VLADIMIR SMIRNOV / POOL / AFP
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un greets Russian President Vladimir Putin upon his arrival at Pyongyang airport on June 19, 2024. – STR / KCNA VIA KNS / AFP

Shortly after Putin’s arrival, the two men were escorted by a special convoy from Pyongyang International Airport to the North Korean capital. For the occasion, the streets, buildings and lampposts were dressed in the colors of Russia and decorated with portraits of Vladimir Putin.

A convoy carries North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin leaving Pyongyang International Airport to enter the North Korean capital, June 19, 2024. – STR / KCNA VIA KNS / AFP
The convoy carrying North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin heads toward the North Korean capital on June 19, 2024. – STR / KCNA VIA KNS / AFP

A welcome ceremony

Balloon releases, military demonstrations and handshakes… During a welcome ceremony organized on Kim Il Sung Square in the capital, Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un were acclaimed by the public. Under the Russian and North Korean flags, the head of the Kremlin successively greeted his North Korean counterpart and several political representatives.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (center left) and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (center right) attend a welcoming ceremony at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, June 19, 2024. – GAVRIIL GRIGOROV / POOL / AFP
People release balloons into the air as Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attend a welcoming ceremony at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, June 19, 2024. – Vladimir SMIRNOV/POOL / AFP
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a welcome ceremony at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, June 19, 2024 – Vladimir SMIRNOV / POOL / AFP
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches as Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with officials during a welcoming ceremony at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, June 19, 2024. – Gavriil GRIGOROV / POOL / AFP
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin walk past children during a welcoming ceremony at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, June 19, 2024. – PYONGYANG, NORTH KOREA

A diplomatic meeting

Following the welcoming ceremony, Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed a strategic partnership agreement. Although the details of the document have not been revealed at this stage, the head of the Kremlin nevertheless affirmed that the text provided for mutual assistance in the event of “aggression”.

The Russian leader also said that this agreement was “truly revolutionary” and that Russia “does not rule out military-technical cooperation” with North Korea for itself.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (right) and Russian President Vladimir Putin pose after a welcome ceremony at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, June 19, 2024. – Gavriil GRIGOROV / POOL / AFP
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (center, right) listens to Russian President Vladimir Putin (center, left) during their meeting in Pyongyang, June 19, 2024. – GAVRIIL GRIGOROV / POOL / AFP

Westerners fear a strengthening of military cooperation between Moscow and Pyongyang, which already supplies the Russian army with ammunition and missiles for its offensive in Ukraine, according to them.

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