North Korea’s Kim Jong Un has made his way home after nearly a week in Russia on a defence-focused trip – but not before taking in a performing walrus show.
Kim sat in the stands surrounded by his military uniform-clad officials to watch a giant walrus perform with its handler at the Primorsky Aquarium, Russia’s largest, on Sunday.
The brutal dictator appeared to be beaming with excitement in the newly released state media images. He was pictured applauding the animal as it clapped back at him.
Kim also ‘watched white dolphins and other sea animals performing acrobatic feats at the dolphinarium and looked round various places of the aquarium,’ state media KCNA said.
As the delegation made their way back to the impoverished North Korea, Kim expressed his ‘heartfelt thanks’ to fellow despot Vladimir Putin.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (pictured in the stands centre right) sat with his military uniform-clad officials as they applaud a walrus at Primorsky Aquarium, Russia
Kim Jong Un (left) is seen on a tour of the Maritime Territorial Aquarium in Vladivostok, Russia, on Sunday
North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency released pictures of Kim Jong Un as he and his delegation toured Primorsky Aquarium, Russia, on Sunday
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (left) meets Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in the Amur Oblast in the far East of Russia last week
Kim’s tour of Russia’s far east, which began Tuesday, has fanned Western fears that isolated, nuclear-armed Pyongyang could provide Moscow with weapons for its war in Ukraine.
During the trip this week, North Korea’s leader inspected everything from Russian space rockets to submarines. It also included a symbolic exchange of rifles with Putin.
Pyongyang’s Korean Central News Agency on Monday said Kim ‘extended his heartfelt thanks to President Putin and the Russian leadership’ for ‘their special care and cordial hospitality’ as he wrapped up the visit.
Kim is heading home ‘after successfully completing the schedule of his official goodwill visit to the Russian Federation,’ KCNA said.
Kim’s latest visit to Russia will ‘shine long in history’, the state media continued, and will further consolidate the two countries’ ‘militant unity’ while ‘opening up a new chapter’ of their relations.
He also wished ‘Russia prosperity and its people well-being’, the KCNA report added.
While meeting Kim, Putin accepted an invitation to visit North Korea and offered to send one of its nationals to space, which would be a first.
Kim is heading back to North Korea by bulletproof train, with KCNA saying the leader ‘starts his way home after bringing about a new radical turn in the history of the development of the DPRK-Russia relations.’ DPRK is the acronym for North Korea’s official name.
Kim was sat in the stands with his military uniform-clad officials to watch a giant walrus perform with its handler at the Primorsky Aquarium
Kim and his military officials were led on a tour of the Primorsky Aquarium in Vladivostok on Sunday
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reviewing a guard of honor during a send-off ceremony at the end of his visit, in Vladivostok, Russia, Sunday
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un receives a a guard of honor during a send-off ceremony on Sunday at the end of his visit
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un salutes as he walks past a row of military soldiers giving him a guard of honor
North Korea leader Kim Jong Un visits the Far Eastern Federal University in Russky Island, Vladivostok, Sunday
Before departing from Vladivostok, the Pacific port city just over the border, Kim was presented with five explosive drones, a reconnaissance drone and a bulletproof vest as gifts from the governor of the Primorye region, which borders China and North Korea.
North Korea and Russia, historic allies, are both under rafts of global sanctions – Moscow for its Ukraine invasion, Pyongyang for its nuclear weapon tests.
During his visit, Kim said his country would make bilateral ties with Russia its ‘number one priority’, as he held a rare summit with Putin.
China is currently North Korea’s most crucial ally and benefactor.
Russia is eager for North Korea’s stockpile of artillery shells to be used in Ukraine, while Pyongyang is looking for help with satellite technology and upgrading its Soviet-era military equipment, experts say.
Vladimir Putin, left, and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un shake hands during their meeting at the Vostochny cosmodrome outside the city of Tsiolkovsky
Putin and Kim look to the skies at the space centre in the far eastern Amur region in Russia on Wednesday
Russian President Vladimir Putin (2nd-L) and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (3d-R), accompanied by head of Russian state space corporation Roscosmos Yuri Borisov (L), visit the Vostochny cosmodrome
Putin points into the air during a visit to the Vostochny Cosmodrome with Kim on Wednesday
On Wednesday, Putin and Kim held talks at Russia’s new Vostochny cosmodrome, roughly 5,000 miles (8,000 kilometres) from Moscow.
After the meeting Putin talked up the prospect of greater cooperation with North Korea and the ‘possibilities’ for military ties.
But the Kremlin has said no agreement has or will be signed.