they went hand in hand as they made their way through the sparkling space center, pausing occasionally to gaze into the opening from which rockets are launched into space.
They toasted the coming together of their two pariah republics by drinking wines from Russia at the opulent banquet they hosted.
And just before they left, they presented each other with model weapons from their respective munitions lines as parting gifts.
A friendship that is being strengthened in times of conflict is made abundantly obvious by the optics of Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin's meeting in eastern Russia.
The North Korean leader will spend several days inspecting shipyards, aircraft factories, and other military sites before heading back home. This means that it is not yet over.
In the days leading up to the event, there was a great deal of expectation, and the attention of the world's media was riveted on Kim as he crossed the border in his armored train.
Before he arrived to the Vostochny Cosmodrome, which is a space base in a remote eastern region of Russia, he kept the West guessing for about forty hours about his whereabouts. Even at that point, it was unclear what exactly the two parties would be meeting to discuss; the White House had issued a warning the previous week that the North could sell arms to Russia, which caused concern.
As Kim's train approached the space base's tracks, Putin had already dispatched a group of greeters to meet and greet him as he arrived. A balustrade staircase with crimson carpeting was also created in the air, and it was waiting for the train to arrive so that it could welcome the North Korean leader when he stepped down.
When Kim arrived in his limousine, Putin was already standing in front of the center waiting for him. There, in front of flashing cameras, the two presidents shook hands, and state media instantly broadcast the photographs that captured the moment.
Both Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin are aware of the importance of putting on a good show, but Kim Jong-un, also known as the Supreme Leader of North Korea, is particularly fond of pomp and circumstance. According to Sarah Son, an expert on North Korea who teaches at the University of Sheffield, "they have generations of mythology constructed around them." He is the third supreme leader of a dynasty of supreme leaders.
"It wouldn't do to be seen as a run-of-the-mill, limited term state leader by domestic audiences, who will be seeing this journey and parts of the meetings on television and in the newspaper," the leader said. "It would be a mistake."
"It is very crucial for Kim to have one-on-one encounters with the leaders of other nations so that all eyes are focused on him, so making North Korea appear to be a more prominent global player than it actually is.
Income for the North Korean state and evidence that Kim is worthy of the attention of the leader of a significant global power are two complimentary goals that can be achieved through Russia's desire for weaponry, which presents an opportunity to fulfill both of these goals thanks to the strict sanctions that are still in place.
Pyongyang also launched two ballistic missiles approximately an hour before the two leaders met. This marked the first time that the missiles were launched without the leader being present at their launch site.
According to Professor Leif-Eric Easley of Ewha University in Seoul, "The summit defiantly linked pariah state behavior in Europe and Asia."
But beyond the showmanship and bombast, analysts wonder whether any solid accords were actually reached during the meeting. Very little information was made available.
According to Fyodor Tertitskiy, a North Korean military expert at Kookmin University in Seoul, there does not appear to have been any significant developments in the public domain as of this moment. "As of now, it appears that there has been no substantial development in the public domain," he says.
"We witnessed a two-fold event: a grand spectacle that was primarily designed for audiences from other countries as well as undisclosed agreements that were made behind closed doors, the significance of which is unknown at this time."
Putin and Kim: Two good friends who could use some (more) firepower.
The United States is interested in communicating with North Korea but is unsure how to proceed.
The luxurious interior of Kim Jong Un's personal armored train
No specifics about the rumored arms transaction, which the West is worried would give Russia an advantage in its conflict with Ukraine, have been revealed.
And not a single word was said about specific benefits for North Korea, like as food aid, economic assistance, or the sharing of military and technological know-how, all of which are things that observers believe Kim would have desired.
Instead, it seems that the only acknowledged breakthrough is Putin's implication that he might be able to assist Kim with his space and satellite ambitions.
According to the experts, this is where the location of the event made a considerable difference. Both world leaders had to travel significant distances in order to reach the space port, which was located on the opposite side of the country from Moscow.
According to commentators, however, Putin benefitted significantly from the optics of meeting at the site.
First, his offer of assistance in space may be justified as falling within the accepted bounds of what Russia can supply North Korea. This would be a positive development for Russia.
Pyongyang has attempted twice more this year to launch a spy satellite into space, but both times they have been unsuccessful since their technology is still decades behind that of Russia.
And in Moscow's eyes, assisting the North Korean government in launching a satellite into orbit so that it can keep an eye on its adversaries is a world apart from the Kremlin providing assistance to a nuclear and missile program that is prohibited by the United Nations Security Council.
However, the fact that we are unaware of the specifics of the promises made to the North remains a concern.
Pyongyang is in possession of intercontinental ballistic missiles that are capable of carrying nuclear warheads and, in principle, could strike the United States. They do not have this capability at the moment, in part because the North has not yet figured out how to prevent their electronics from overheating while they travel through space.
However, both Russia and the United States are aware of how to defend their missiles, and they do it with the same technology that they use to defend their satellites. If Moscow has provided Pyongyang with this capability, then the United States may be within striking distance of its adversary.
According to Professor Easley, this means that the meeting that took place this week at the spaceport is "the equivalent of Putin thumbing his nose at UN Security Council Resolutions."
"This should be a wake-up call to all of the other UN member states about the need to redouble efforts at enforcing sanctions on Pyongyang," he added. He was referring to the North Korean capital of Pyongyang.
There is, however, a substantial amount of uncertainty on whether or not Russia would part with any of her space jewels or even considers the North's armaments to be anything more than a backup supply.
According to Mr. Tertitskiy, "even in regards to the satellite technology, Putin's statements were cautious. There was not an explicit commitment to provide assistance; rather, there was a strong implication that it may be considered." Putin's statements were cautious.
According to figures provided by South Korea, the amount of trade that occurs between the two countries is still very close to nil. He also brings up the fact that there is almost no money flowing back and forth between the two countries. China continues to be the sole provider of approximately 95% of North Korea's total trade revenue.
"This leaves us uncertain whether this summit will yield any more concrete results than the fruitless 2019 meeting did," he says, alluding to the last time the two leaders met one another. "This leaves us uncertain whether this summit will yield any more concrete results than the fruitless 2019 meeting did."
It has gone four years since that meeting, and observers believe that Kim's uncommon journey shouldn't be overlooked because of its significance. It had been four years since his last trip outside of his insular state, which was likewise just beginning to re-open its doors to the outside world after the plague.
According to onlookers, Putin took measures to ensure that he would be lavishly received.
It would have been possible to hold the conference in Vladivostok on the sidelines of Putin's signature Asia-facing forum, the Eastern Economic Forum, which has previously attracted the participation of Chinese and South Korean leaders.
Instead, he decided to give Kim the spotlight at a completely other location, complete with a red carpet, a banquet, and a brass marching band, and he also traveled there to see Kim in person.
"Doing so is a demonstration of respect for Kim. According to Mr. Tertitskiy, "this could be interpreted as a gesture to ensure that Kim feels valued."
However, he also claims that it is about the message that is being delivered to the West, which is to elevate the perception of their connection even though the details are scarce.
According to him, however, the most important thing to pay attention to in this partnership is the actions that are taken by both parties.
Both Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin are masters of the art of deception. Once more, it is absolutely necessary to focus more on the actions they have taken rather than the words they have said.