The North Korean state media aired a documentary on the recent Singapore summit, showing the meeting between Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump. Naturally, it wasn’t what the world had seen till then.
While the 42-minute long KCTV documentary showed the entire trip from Kim’s perspective – from arriving in Singapore to meeting the country’s prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong – the most interesting moment was that of Trump saluting a North Korean general.
When meeting No Kwang Chol, North Korea’s minister for the People’s Armed Forces, Trump initially tried to shake his hand. When the top military leader opted for a salute, Trump returned it.
Critics attacked Trump for the gesture, saying it was inappropriate for the US President to send signals which suggested that he was hailing the military power of a regime responsible for several acts of horror and human rights violations against its own people.
The White House, however, defended its commander-in-chief, with press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying: “It’s a common courtesy when a military official from another government salutes, that you return that.”
According to the Washington Post, US presidents are not required to return salutes of military personnel, even if they are American, and it is highly unusual for the President to return the gesture to a foreign military leader.