Russia’s Vladimir Putin visits North Korea for first time since 2000

Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have begun official talks in Pyongyang.

Putin arrived in the city before dawn on Wednesday in his first visit to the country in 24 years. Kim was at the airport to greet him and the two leaders travelled together to the Kumsusan State Guest House in a grand motorcade.

The visit is at Kim’s invitation and follows the two men’s talks last September at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in eastern Russia.

Russia and North Korea have deepened their relationship since Moscow began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

The United States and South Korea say Pyongyang has been providing weapons to Russia to use in Ukraine, in exchange for technological expertise to boost weapons development as Kim modernises his country’s military.

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