On June 12, President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un sat down in Singapore for a historic meeting to discuss improving relations between both nations. The summit might have been all business, but a few days later North Korean state media released a short documentary that showed some behind the scene footage, including a clip where Donald Trump saluted a North Korean military general. Cue facepalm.
On June 14, North Korea released a 42-minute video of the historic Trump-Kim summit meeting. According to The Washington Post, The Korean Central Television created the documentary as propaganda, but the video did show glimpses into a different side of this face to face with the two world leaders. And of course, in typical Trump fashion, there had to be at least one awkward moment take place. In the video, Trump extends his hand in greeting to a North Korean military general, who salutes in response. Well, in response to that, Trump actually salutes back to the military general and then shakes his hand.
Um, last time I checked Trump, you were the one in charge here.
It's highly uncommon for a president to salute back to a member of foreign military according to the Washington Post — presidents aren't even technically required to return the salutes of members of the U.S. military. Even though this exchange might have lasted just a few seconds, it's sure to have had a lasting impact on Kim Jong-un, who watched this all go down. Trump probably was just trying to be polite, but it all just ended up being terribly, terribly uncomfortable.
North Korea scholar, Jean H. Lee, spoke to The Washington Post about the significance of this salute, and how it will impact Trump's credibility in North Korea.
“This is a moment that will be used over and over in North Korea’s propaganda as 'proof' that the American president defers to the North Korean military,” Lee told The Post. “It will be treated as a military victory by the North Koreans.”
Donald Trump, proving time and time again he is unlike any other president in history.
Trump's salute was arguably the most memorable point in the documentary, but the rest of the video was all about documenting Kim's journey leading up to the summit. From lavish hotels to huge crowds, viewers got an inside look into the experience of one of the world's most mysterious leaders.
On June 12, history was made when Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un met in Singapore for a much anticipated meeting. We may never know what exactly was said during the summit, but the two leaders signed a document that states the two nations will "work toward the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula." In addition, the document claims that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will be a key figure in assisting with additional negotiations following the summit.
The document read,
The United States and the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] commit to hold follow-on negotiations, led by the U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and a relevant high-level DPRK official, at the earliest possible date, to implement the outcomes of the US-DPRK summit.
I have to admit, it's nice to see these two get along after all this time. It's no secret that the two controversial leaders have had some hostility over the past. On Sept. 19, 2017 Donald Trump referred to Kim as "rocket man" during a United Nations general assembly. Oh, and on Jan. 1, Kim addressed Trump's threats to "destroy" North Korea with a few threats of his own by saying that Trump "will face results beyond his expectation." Not great.
Well, it looks like their antagonism towards each other might actually turn into the world's most unsuspecting bromance. Hey, 2018 definitely has seen stranger things.
You've come a long way, boys.