Putin and Kim give each other limousines, tea sets and ‘busts’ in North Korea

By Jemma crew, bbc news

EPA Putin driving a car with Kim next to him in the passenger seatEPA

Putin gifted Kim, a car enthusiast, a Russian-made Aurus car during his visit.

A Russian-made limousine, a tea set and works of art were among the gifts exchanged by Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.

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

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

Putin, who held one-on-one talks with Kim that lasted about two hours, gave the North Korean leader a luxurious Aurus limousine, Russian state media reported, citing Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov.

The two heads of state were photographed taking a spin in an Aurus, with Putin at the wheel, but it was not clear if it was the car that had been given to Kim this time.

In February, Putin gave Kim another Russian-made Aurus – a sedan of the type used by Mr Putin himself. It was handed over to North Korea in violation of UN sanctions.

It is not clear which model he has given Kim this time.

Kim is believed to be a car enthusiast and has a collection of luxury foreign vehicles.

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

EPA Putin and Kim smile and shake hands, with a parade in the backgroundEPA

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

Ushakov said the tea set was “very beautiful,” according to Russian state news agency Tass.

Meanwhile, Ushakov said Putin received “also very good gifts.”

He said they included works of art, which he suggested were “related to the image” of the president, including busts.

Ushakov said they were all “quite skilled,” Tass reported.

Getty An Aurus Senat car drives in front of flags and behind a figure in a military uniform.getty

Putin traveled in an Aurus Senat to 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 large-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

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

During their talks, Putin thanked Kim for his “constant and unwavering support for Russian policy, including towards Ukraine.”

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

They have signed an agreement to help each other in case of “aggression.”

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

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

Putin has invited Kim to Moscow for their next meeting.

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