The Kremlin on Thursday said Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un gifted each other rifles after they both held a high-profile summit in Russia’s Far East.
Putin has sought to strengthen alliances with other hardline leaders alienated by the West, and met with Kim amid speculation they would agree on an arms deal, a deal the US has repeatedly kicked against, alleging that Moscow would use it to prosecute its war against Ukraine.
Putin “gave (Kim) a rifle from our production of the highest quality. In turn, he also received a North Korean-made rifle,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
Putin also give Kim “a glove from a space suit that has been in space several times”, Peskov said, while Putin “gratefully” accepted an invitation to visit North Korea.
He said Kim’s visit to Russia would last “a few more days”. The North Korean leader arrived in Russia on Tuesday.
The friendly ties between the two leaders come as Russia faces isolation from the West and some of its traditional partners over its full-scale offensive in Ukraine.
US has warned that if Russia buys North Korean ammunition and use same in Ukraine, it would have consequences.