Jun 14, 2018, 9:12 AM ET

Trump seen in awkward exchange of salutes with North Korean general on state TV

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U.S. President Donald Trump saluted a North Korean general in an awkward moment captured on video and broadcast by North Korean state media Thursday.

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The brief interaction was featured in a 42-minute-long program about Tuesday's unprecedented summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The program, narrated by North Korea's most famous newscaster, Ri Chun-hee, aired on state-run television two days after the summit in Singapore and a full day after Kim returned home to his country's capital, Pyongyang.

In the video, Trump can be seen going to shake the hand of a North Korean general, who salutes the American president instead. Trump then returns the salute before the two finally shake hands, while Kim looks on as a grin spreads across his face.

PHOTO: Video shown by North Korean state television shows President Donald Trump saluting a North Korean general while North Korean leader Kim Jong Un looks on during a summit in Singapore, June 12, 2018.APTN
Video shown by North Korean state television shows President Donald Trump saluting a North Korean general while North Korean leader Kim Jong Un looks on during a summit in Singapore, June 12, 2018.

PHOTO: Video shown by North Korean state television shows President Donald Trump shaking hands with a North Korean general while North Korean leader Kim Jong Un looks on during a summit in Singapore, June 12, 2018.APTN
Video shown by North Korean state television shows President Donald Trump shaking hands with a North Korean general while North Korean leader Kim Jong Un looks on during a summit in Singapore, June 12, 2018.

The footage also offered a rare, behind-the-scenes look at Kim's trip, including his arrival in Singapore on a chartered Air China flight and his motorcade driving past what appeared to be a warm welcome from throngs of people crammed on the streets.

In the video, Kim can also be seen lounging in his swanky room at the St. Regis Singapore, one of the most luxurious hotels on the island city-state, and heading out for an evening tour the night before the summit.

North Korean viewers had to wait almost 20 minutes into the program for Trump's first appearance. The video included the lengthy handshake between the two leaders, which took place before their one-on-one meeting at the luxury Capella Hotel on Singapore's Sentosa Island.

PHOTO: President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un are pictured at their summit in Singapore in video shown on North Korean state television.APTN
President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un are pictured at their summit in Singapore in video shown on North Korean state television.

The summit was the first time a sitting U.S. president met face to face with a North Korean leader. On the agenda were North Korea’s illicit nuclear weapons program and a potential deal to denuclearize the country.

The North Korean state TV broadcast also showed Trump and Kim after the meeting, signing their joint agreement in which North Korea pledged to take steps to denuclearize, while the United States vowed to end military exercises in South Korea. Both leaders invited each other to visit their respective capitals in the future.

The carefully-crafted program repeatedly showed North Korea's supreme leader smiling and depicted him as polite, confident and completely in control. Kim has ruled with an iron fist since 2011 when he assumed power following his father's death.

All media in North Korea is controlled by the state and so the program's entirely positive view of Kim, the summit, and its results come as no surprise.

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  • Scot McKay

    Consider this... The DPRK general saluted Trump first. He openly did this IN FRONT OF Kim Jong Un. If saluting an adversarial leader is such an insult to one's own country and one's own cause, how does Kim Jong Un not fry this guy at the stake? Not only did he "insult" and "diminish" the DPRK and give the appearance of giving reverence to the "enemy", he was brazen enough to do it in the very presence of the dictator himself. Here's a hint: If KJU was okay with his own freaking general saluting Trump in his own presence, maybe the US media is overreacting by hammering the president over this. Just sayin'. (But then again, who exercises real, actual logic nowadays?)

  • P322

    Is this all you got from the meeting? Shame on you ABC - your liberal bias is showing.

  • thinkmore

    I don't see any deep meaning in the encounter. Trump was going to shake hands, the general saluted, Trump got confused and saluted, the general and Trump then shook hands. Like passing somebody in the hall and getting into a dodge/block situation. Could fault Trump a little for being tripped up on a ceremonial process, but it doesn't seem like much compared with all the other, more serious and more damaging things Trump does every day.

  • Cagey-B

    "All media in North Korea is controlled by the state and so the program's entirely positive view of Kim, the summit, and its results come as no surprise."
    _____________________________________________________
    Probably not. American media, by contrast, is not necessarily controlled by the state.
    That doesn't prevent it though, from engaging in its own variety of hero-worship.
    That also doesn't stop it from pushing false narratives as "conventional wisdom".
    And it steadfastly ignores parts of the world that it deems as below our interest.
    Check out the BBC if you wish to confirm that certain nations even exist.

  • Armed and Psychotic Loner

    If Trump met with one of Hitler's generals, would he return a Nazi salute? That is, assuming Trump hadn't offered it first.

  • tet1953

    So maybe he is a great negotiator in real estate. He has maintained some wealth after all. But foreign policy, not so much. He got absolutely nothing. He got played. Many of us saw it coming too. NK played us again.

  • John Doe

    abc news is toxic, so is disney of course, there are people working hard for your land where you belong, JAIL

  • Bert Jackson

    Oh so he does look up to somebody, hum m m m m

  • Stephen Bishop

    Every day, another embarrassment.

  • RG

    I have loads of criticism of Trump, but I don't think he deserves it for this salute or his various attempts at being gracious and friendly with Kim and his people. American presidents have not infrequently had to meet with adversaries and people they don't like. Part of the job. It is simply professional to act respectfully to adversaries you want something from.

  • Scotty Boy

    Good lord. Imagine if Obama had done any of that. Even in jest.

  • joe m

    The real America is coming back, and it's very anti-trump. Finally.

  • Debra

    Once again: What a maroon!!

  • STJ581

    Jesus he's stupid!

  • mark rothschild

    Donny joins Russia,China and North Korea...as Democracy is replaced with an Autocracy

  • YouMayBanMeButYouCan'tBanIdeas

    Taking a knee at a football game is un-American, but exchanging a salute with a North Korean general is? Trump might as well have shined his shoes, too.

  • Henry3518

    Donald Trump: A f%cking idiot and an embarrassment to the US of A.

  • A S Vega

    The bottom of the barrel. Wow. TRAITOR 🖕🏾

  • tet1953

    The smile on Kim's face when he saw Trump salute says it all. It's already in a NK propaganda film.

  • askew

    No Russian Generals available, so....

  • K. E. King

    The President of the United States is the Commander in Chief of the armed services of the United States. As such he or she properly directly salutes our flag as the emblem of our nation and the Constitution he or she is sworn to uphold and protect and properly returns the salute of members of OUR military and of allied military personnel under special circumstances. He or she does NOT salute the flag or return the salutes of military from non-allied especially hostile nations. Regardless of the "preference" North Korea is not a recognized nation but a geographical part of a nation still very much at war with itself; Trump might properly recognize the South Korea, our ally, but "North Korea," not. Further, until a peace treaty is negotiated and signed between North and South Korean interests including the United Nations whose "police action" the United States led, Trump is acting improperly -- and stupidly. But, since he refuses to learn anything from anyone, especially with regard to history, what can we expect but further dishonor to all of those who died and were wounded in obedience to their duty.

  • quinLee

    Moron

  • Realpshep

    Suddenly I wanna watch some Gomer Pyle

  • Armed and Psychotic Loner

    Should've done a "High five, let's go! Too slow..."

  • Phoenix Punk

    It was a bee. He ran around like a girl.

  • Evan German

    Trump obviously has no respect for military protocol and no knowledge of military affairs, the only soldiers that deserve his salutes are soldiers of allies and personnel assigned to look after him. The others deserve a 'flippant' half-hearted salute at best.

  • ramanthunder

    Not as awkward as Obama bowing to the previous king of Saudi Arabia. Trump is making America great again despite all the communists in the Democratic party, the media and the news corporations.

  • pfon71361

    Hmmm. Trump saluting a North Korean general. Not so long ago he questioned the honor and courage of Vietnam War hero and US Senator John McCain. Interesting.

  • Planet Earth

    I could take the conservative side seriously sometimes if they were even remotely consistent. So Hannity, is it bad or good to meet with a dictator? Is it bad or good for the US President to salute or bow to foreign officials? Pick a stance and have the balls to stick with it. You know the old footage is out there, don't pretend like you never said it.