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Gun, fur hat and drones: North Korean leader Kim returns with gifts from Russia

Gun, fur hat and drones: North Korean leader Kim returns with gifts from Russia

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves as he boards his train at a railway station in the town of Artyom outside Vladivostok in the Primorsky Oblast, Russia, September 17, 2023. Government of Russia’s Primorsky Krai/Handout via Reuters/File photo Obtaining licensing rights

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un returns home on Monday, likely with gifts from his Russian hosts including a rifle, an astronaut’s glove and military drones, in itself a violation of United Nations sanctions. .

Here are some of the items he will return to the Friendship Museum, where gifts received by the three generations of North Korean leaders are kept.

Gifts from Russia

After his summit with Russian President Putin, Kim received a Russian-made rifle “of the highest quality,” according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. Kim responded in kind by throwing a rifle at Putin “made by North Korean craftsmen.”

Russia’s TASS news agency said Putin also presented a glove from a spacesuit worn in space.

Russian media said that Oleg Kozhemyako, Governor of the Primorsky Region, presented Kim with a set of modern, lightweight body armor designed for offensive operations that protects the chest, shoulders, throat and thigh.

Kim also acquired five one-way attack drones and a Geranium-25 reconnaissance drone, which are widely used in the war in Ukraine, TASS said.

Which violates At least two members of the United Nations Security Council Decisions Against North Korea – which Moscow voted to approve – imposed because of its banned missile and nuclear activities.

Kim received a fur hat from Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in Vladivostok, where he inspected Russian nuclear bombers, fighter planes equipped with hypersonic missiles and a warship.

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The Russian Information Agency reported that there was a scramble to determine the correct size of the hat. Russia’s ambassador to Pyongyang, Alexander Matsegora, suggested a size slightly smaller than his “very large head”, which turned out to be just right.

“It is also important that this is a gift from the heart. Comrade Kim Jong Un admired it,” Matsegora said.

Kim began his visit with a stop in the Russian border town of Khasan, where he was shown a photo of Yuri Gagarin, the astronaut who was the first human to orbit the Earth.

“Compared to the Louvre Museum”

North Korea has put a lot of effort into displaying the gifts received by Kim, as well as his father Kim Jong Il, his grandfather and the country’s founder Kim Il Sung, from foreign dignitaries, and has dedicated a special museum to them.

Located on the hills of Mount Myohyangsan, 160 kilometers (99 miles) from Pyongyang, the International Friendship Fair is two imposing concrete buildings built in traditional architectural style with blue tile roofs.

The museum was opened in 1978 and includes more than 100 galleries containing more than 115,000 objects from more than 200 countries, according to North Korean official media.

North Korean state media said the size and importance of the collection made it comparable to the Louvre Museum in Paris.

Who else sent gifts?

The collection includes crystal dishes sent by former US President Jimmy Carter, a tea cup from French President François Mitterrand, a basketball signed by Michael Jordan given by former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright during her visit in 2000, and a rifle gifted by the late Cuban leader. Fidel Castro.

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Propaganda plays a big role in how gifts from South Koreans are displayed, with the big-screen television set of former President Kim Dae-jung, who involved Pyongyang in peace policies, being prominently displayed.

The Dynasty sedan, which was Hyundai Motor’s flagship vehicle, was gifted to Kim Jong Il by Hyundai Group’s North Korean-born founder, Chung Ju-yong, who led investment in the North after the inter-Korean summit in 2000.

(This story has been reworded to fix a typo in paragraph 17)

(Reporting by Jack Kim in Seoul and Lydia Kelly in Melbourne) Edited by Gerry Doyle

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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