Ahead of the bilateral meeting between delegations from Russia and North Korea, which was being broadcast live on state-run TV on Wednesday, June 19, the Moscow team was unceremoniously thrown out for entering the conference room before the two leaders, according to a report in the Moscow Times.

It is apparently customary on such occasions to wait to be summoned to join the meeting by Kim Jong Un after he and his principal guest enter.

Seven ministers as well as support staff from the Russian mission, including Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, First Deputy Prime Minister Denis Manturov and Deputy Prime Ministers Vitaly Savelyev and Alexander Novak, along with Defense Minister Andrei Belousov, Health Minister Mikhail Murashko and Roscosmos head Yuri Borisov were shown entering the room, getting set for the meeting and taking their seats.

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Lavrov apparently started to complain that he had been made dirty by something, when a North Korean official could be heard telling them off-camera to stop what they were doing and to leave the room, saying: “We have a protocol. We invite you to the table. Our leaders will join us shortly.”

As a member of the Russian delegation began to object the broadcast abruptly ended to be replaced by (presumably previous footage) of a now-empty conference room.

The broadcast later resumed to show Kim and Putin entering, followed by their delegations. Together they signed a mutual defense strategic treaty which Putin said had been a “breakthrough.”

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Russia’s Defense Minister called the US Secretary of Defense to “lower risks of returning to a Cold War,” while the Pentagon says sporadic calls are important to “maintaining lines of communication.”

Kim said Putin was the “dearest friend of the Korean people” and declared “full support and solidarity with the Russian government” in its war in Ukraine.

Putin, in turn, thanked the Democratic People’s Korean Republic (DPKR) for its “consistent and unwavering” support and calling for a review of the UN sanctions regime that bans weapons supplies and purchases to and from Pyongyang.

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