KIM JONG-UN and Vladimir Putin looked like the best of pals as they grinned and shook hands at a crunch summit – but there were also hidden, subtle messages.
Body language experts dissected the duo for The Sun Online – revealing the messages the two tinpot tyrants might not have realised they were sending as they met in Russia.
Both men met as they found themselves increasingly isolated and nearly friendless on the world stage, so appeared to be trying to deepen ties between the two war-mad nations.
Putin is desperate for allies who can provide him with weapons for his war in Ukraine, while Kim is anxious to make friends with anyone who can aid him in his quest for international respect and nukes.
And it appeared the two of them were each vying for control of the situation, with intense eye contact, "alpha" manspreading, and a "bone-crushing" handshake.
The two men were keen to seem "macho" – and it may have been Putin who was the more nervous, with the stakes of his brutal war hanging over his head.
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Body language expert Judi James told The Sun that the thirty-second iron grip handshake revealed messages of unity – as well as anxiety and intimidation.
And she believed from the first meeting it appeared that Kim – with his intense eye contact -had the upper hand over the "self-conscious" Putin.
"Kim’s overall appearance is one of utter confidence, from his sharp suit to his heavyweight walk," she told The Sun Online.
She explained: "Kim extends his hand first in an intentional gesture for their handshake.
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"There are obvious cultural differences, but it is often seen as the job of the host to instigate the handshake, meaning Kim takes the lead and implies a sense of control with this gesture.
"Kim adds strong eye contact at this point and the hand extended has a slightly cocked thumb, a signal of confidence."
Judi explained that during the initial handshake, Putin attempted a "macho" gesture by digging his hand in to take control of the handshake – but it was the younger Kim who stayed in command.
The duo then sat down – with Kim still "calling the shots" during a second photo-op handshake.
"When they sit for photos there is a message of a ‘meeting of minds’ in their rather similar poses, where both perform a very alpha splaying of the legs," said Judi.
"The splay projects power and strength. It’s Kim whose pose is more symmetric here, with a hand placed firmly on each thigh.
"His jacket is still buttoned, too, while Putin has undone his, making him look more open to talks while Kim appears to be keeping his cards closer to his chest."
Kim may have the upper hand in this meeting, as he is reportedly willing to hand Putin artillery shells and anti-tank missiles in exchange for satellite and nuclear submarine technology.
Ahead of the two sitting down, Kim showed his apprehension by sending white-gloved functionaries to wipe down his chair, for fear of "background radiation" from the Cosmodrome.
Putin’s hit squads are also known to use deadly agents Novichok and Polonium 210 to poison enemies, so he wasn’t taking any chances.
As the two met, the tension between the tyrants was obvious.
Darren Stanton- a former cop known as the "Human Lie Detector" – explained: "It is clear that Putin proceeds himself and wants to be perceived as a stronger force.
"His first move is to advance very closely to Kim and give him a ‘bone crusher’ handshake – a stronger shake than normal to assert authority, something many powerful figures implement."
Darren believes Putin was very much on the offensive – attempting to exert control over Kim.
He explained Putin's confidence was evident in the "wide stance of his legs" – a power move which may have been used to intimidate the North Korean.
Darren continued: "During the press conference, you can see Kim sitting down with one hand resting on the table with his fist clenched.
"If you notice closely, you can see he is rubbing his index finger and thumb together.
"This is almost a demonstration of anxiety, giving himself reassurance.
"It can also be a sign of impatience as if he does not want to be there."
He also pointed out Kim appeared to keep his right hand in his pocket, something that was a "pacifying gesture of reassurance".
Darren explained: " I believe he is ever so slightly intimidated by Putin, which is probably the intention.
"I also noticed that if you zoom in on Kim, he appears to be falling asleep as his eyes cannot seem to stay open.
“Putin is an extremely confident man, and the wide stance of his legs is another power move."
The expert added Putin also made a visible effort to make himself appear "bigger" in photos – extending his arms, and keeping himself on the right of the images.
Darren said: "It is a little-known fact that whoever is on the right-hand side of a wide shot as you look at it often appears bigger due to the ways our eyes register light."
Putin and Kim vowed to fight a "sacred" battle against the West after two hours of talks and a sit down lunch.
The North Korean leader told Putin that he was sure that the Russian army and people would triumph against "evil".
The leaders are believed to have carried out sanctions-busting negotiations on supplying weapons to bolster Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Kim was pictured waving goodbye as he departed after the meeting and boarded his bullet train.
The pair followed their deliberations with a decadent Bond-villain-style banquet in Kim Jong-Un's honour.
Later, Putin raised a toast "to the future strengthening of cooperation and friendship between our countries.
"For the well-being and prosperity of our nations, for the health of the chairman and all of those present."
While the exact details of their discussions are not known, Putin did reveal that Kim showed a particular interest in the Russian space programme.
Kim and Putin were only expected to speak today, Kremlin spokesman Dmirtry Peskov said, and the North Korean dictator will return home soon.
It is thought that Kim planned to offer his ageing Soviet-era weapons to Vlad to aide in his fight in Ukraine.
The meal the two leaders shared on Wednesday is said to feature a salad of duck, fig and nectarine followed by Russian "pelmeni" dumplings made with Kamchatka crab and then a White Amur fish soup and a sorbet from sea buckthorn.
For the main course, the leaders had a choice of sturgeon with mushrooms and potatoes or marbled beef with grilled vegetables.
For dessert, they were offered red bilberries from the taiga with pine nuts and condensed milk.
The North Korean leader arrived at the Vostochny Cosmodrome on his armoured train on Wednesday morning after crossing into Russia the day before.
Putin told Kim he was "very glad to see" him, while the North Korean despot thanked Putin for the invitation to Russia.
Speaking at the space base prior to their one-on-one chat, Putin told reporters that the pair would discuss "all the issues" at their meeting.
Asked if Russia would help Kim build satellites, Putin replied: "That's why we came here. The leader of the DPRK shows great interest in rocket engineering, they are also trying to develop space."
North Korea experienced failures in recent months as it tried to place a spy satellite into orbit – but has vowed to try for a third time in October.
Kim's space ambitions are likely tied to his efforts to develop more powerful intercontinental ballistic missiles that are designed to reach the U.S. mainland as space-launch rockets share the same core technologies with those weapons, experts say.
Some analysts say Kim could also seek Russian help in developing ballistic-missile submarines and nuclear propulsion submarines.
Still, it would take considerable time, resources and technological improvements for the heavily sanctioned nation to build a fleet of at least several submarines that could travel quietly and execute attacks reliably.
The Sun told earlier how Putin is looking for "partners in destruction" after isolating from most of the world, with Russia expert Keir Giles saying Moscow and its allies are "a coalition of countries that want to bring down the world order as we know it."
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He said: "If Russia now decides that it no longer needs to be a party to the sanctions on North Korea that were supposed to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons, then that is a major step forward to destabilising the situation in the Far East."
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