Debunked

Viral video of Kim Jong-un meeting Vladimir Putin is actually from 2019

Twitter users have been widely sharing a video that they claim shows Russian president Vladimir Putin and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un meeting in Moscow on September 30, 2022. In actuality, this video is from April 25, 2019.
Twitter users have been widely sharing a video that they claim shows Russian president Vladimir Putin and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un meeting in Moscow on September 30, 2022. In actuality, this video is from April 25, 2019. © Observers

Twitter users have been sharing a video that they claim shows Russian President Vladimir Putin meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Moscow on September 30. However, it turns out the video was filmed in Vladivostok in April 2019 during the only official meeting between these two heads of state.

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If you only have a minute:

  • Twitter users have been sharing a video that they claim shows a meeting that supposedly took place between Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on September 30, 2022, in Moscow.
  • If you do a keyword search using the words “meeting”, “Putin” and "Kim Jong-un" then you will quickly pull up the video, which is actually from April 25, 2019. It was filmed during a summit between the two leaders in Vladivostok, Russia. 

The video shows Kim and Putin shaking the hands of several people in front of a line of Russian and North Korean flags. 

"In an unprecedented visit ... North Korean president arrives in Moscow to coincide with upcoming speech by Russian president today,” reads a September 30 tweet that shared the video. 

The post featuring the video was retweeted more than 3,000 times and shared in several languages on Twitter and Facebook.

Putin did, indeed, give a speech, announcing Russia's annexation of four Ukrainian territories in a televised address

However, Kim and Putin did not meet that day. Their only official meeting was back on April 25, 2019, during a summit held in the town of Vladivostok, located in eastern Russia near the tiny, 17-kilometre border that Russia and North Korea share. At the time, North Korea was clashing with the United States over denuclearisation and wanted to secure Russian backing.  

The video showing the two men was filmed at that time. If you search the keywords “meeting”, “Kim Jong-un Vladimir Putin", then you will find several news reports about it broadcast at the time. Here is a clip from Canadian news outlet Global News (the meeting is mentioned at 2:12). The video is credited to the Associated Press.

Diplomatic relations between North Korea and Russia have strengthened in recent months. On October 4, North Korea offered its official support to Russia in its quest to annex Ukrainian territories. However, no official meetings between the two heads of state have taken place recently.