Former NHK Seoul bureau chief Ikehata Shuhei says Kim is likely to be delighted with the outcome.
First, there are the optics. This didn't happen on the sidelines of another gathering. It was an event arranged just for him.
And Putin often shows up late for meetings with foreign leaders, but that is not what happened this time. He was at the Cosmodrome waiting for Kim to arrive. Kim presented himself as a young, confident leader who can work with Putin, which was just the image he needed to send back home to a country struggling with dire economic conditions.
Before the meeting, Russia's defense minister raised the idea of joint military drills with North Korea.
For the leader of a regime as isolated as North Korea's, that's a symbolic win, and one that may encourage Kim to maintain or even accelerate his hostile stance toward the US, Japan, and South Korea. The message to the rest of the world is: China isn't our only ally.
The participants have not revealed what the leaders discussed, but the speculation before the meeting was that Russia wanted North Korea to export arms, including ammunition that would help with their invasion of Ukraine. For North Korea, a weapons deal would bring much-needed revenue.
Moscow also has technical expertise that Pyongyang could use right now. North Korea says it will try to launch a spy satellite next month. That announcement came just hours after it failed for a second time to launch one. The speed of that announcement may suggest Kim already knew he would meet Putin at the space base and was confident about getting technical assistance to improve his rockets.
And that is a serious concern for some countries. No matter how much North Korea insists its launches are for peaceful purposes, the rocket technology is the same type being used for missiles.