Newly released footage from North Korean state media shows President Trump saluting one of the rogue nation’s top military leaders during his summit with Kim Jong Un earlier this week.
The footage was released as part of a 42-minute behind-the-scenes documentary Korean Central Television aired on the summit. About halfway through, the documentary shows Trump and Kim in a room with members of Kim’s delegation at the Capella Singapore hotel.
President Donald Trump’s decision to suspend major U.S. military exercises in South Korea could weaken allied defenses, depending on the length and scope of the hiatus. But the potential for diplomatic damage seems even greater.
When Trump encounters North Korean Gen. No Kwang Chol, he extends his hand. No responds unexpectedly with a salute, which Trump reciprocates before shaking No’s hand and continuing to greet the next North Korean delegate.
The salute has spurred outrage among those who believe it is inappropriate for a president to salute any foreign military officer, let alone a top general from one of the most oppressive regimes on Earth.
Others have defended Trump’s salute, claiming it was nothing more than a courteous response to No’s gesture of respect.
Trump is known to salute military members in uniform, including the Singapore military officials he encountered during the summit.
But in this case, critics are concerned Trump fell right into the hand of North Korean propagandists, who have promoted the footage as a means of legitimizing their regime on the world stage.