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Kim Jong Un shows up late for ceremony

In this photo provided by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un delivers his New Year's speech at an undisclosed place in North Korea Monday, Jan. 1, 2018. Kim said Monday the United States should be aware that his country's nuclear forces are now a reality, not a threat. Independent journalists were not given access to cover the event depicted in this image distributed by the North Korean government. The content of this image is as provided and cannot be independently verified. Korean language watermark on image as provided by source reads: "KCNA" which is the abbreviation for Korean Central News Agency. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)VLADIVOSTOK, Russia (AFP) – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un kept an honor guard and officials waiting for two hours yesterday but eventually showed up for a wreath-laying ceremony in Russia’s Far Eastern city of Vladivostok.

Visiting the city a day after his first summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Kim had been scheduled to take part in the ceremony at 10 a.m. local time but at first was a no-show.

As soldiers and a military band waited in the rain, word came that the event – at a World War II memorial to Russia’s Pacific Fleet – had been cancelled and the red carpet was rolled up.

Around noon, the honor guard returned and a few minutes later, Kim pulled up in his black limousine.

The band played solemn music and ceremonial guards placed a large wreath on a stand next to an eternal flame.

In a black hat and double-breasted overcoat, Kim went up to the wreath briefly, then stepped back and stood with his hat in his hand, looking somber.

Behind him stood local officials holding carnations, including regional governor Oleg Kozhemyako.

A ceremonial guard marched past, Kim spoke briefly with a Russian military officer, then got back into his limousine, and drove off with a motorcade.

Kim arrived Wednesday in the Pacific coast port on his armored train, then met with Putin for five hours on Thursday for a summit that saw the two leaders vow to pursue closer ties.

Putin left the same day for China and Kim stayed on for a series of cultural events.

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