Putin welcomed at grand ceremony in North Korea ahead of summit with Kim

Russian President Vladimir Putin received a grand welcome from North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang on Wednesday ahead of summit talks aimed at strengthening ties between the two nations.

The ceremony took place at Kim Il Sung Square, where crowds of North Koreans, many holding balloons, gathered near the Grand People’s Study Hall, which was adorned with giant portraits of Kim and Putin.

Following the ceremony, the two leaders traveled to the Kumsusan Palace for summit talks, according to Russian media. This marks Putin’s first visit to the North Korean capital in 24 years, a trip that could significantly reshape the longstanding relationship between Russia and North Korea at a time when both countries face international isolation.