World history was made this week when President Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
While the document didn’t outline any specific promises from Kim, the North Korean leader told reporters just before the signing: “We had a historic meeting and decided to leave the past behind. The world will see a major change.”
Trump held a press conference after the summit, expressing great hope that Kim would follow through with the vow to denuclearize his country, although the president did add, “I may be wrong.”
The president, however, was very enthusiastic about a short video that was shown to reporters before he took the stage. The four-minute clip was in the style of a big-budget Hollywood movie trailer, complete with two heroes: Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, who together bring peace to the world.
After the video played, Trump took questions without referencing the clip, only revealing what it was when prompted by a reporter several minutes later. The president explained that the trailer was made by the White House, both in English and Korean, to show to Kim and his representatives.
The video’s message was clear and was directed to Kim: “The past doesn’t have to be the future,” the narrator stated. “Will this leader choose to advance his country and be part of a new world, be the hero of his people? Will he shake the hand of peace?” (A video image of Trump plays during this line.)
“Which path will be chosen?” the video ends.
Trump excitedly told reporters, “I think he loved it. I showed it to you because that’s the future. That could very well be the future.”
The video prompted concern from reporters who worried that Kim would use it for his own propaganda. Trump, however, brushed away the doubts. “No, I’m not concerned at all,” he said. “We can use that video for other countries.”
Several Washington analysts commented on Trump’s use of the tape, including Jon Wolfsthal, a former senior director for arms control and nonproliferation at the National Security Council under Barack Obama. He likened the tactic to Trump’s previous business strategies. “This is exactly the kind of video a real estate developer shows to prospective clients. It is clear the president is using what he knows as he pursues his agenda. That seems natural.”
The internet, however, saw nothing natural about the video. The trailer was widely panned as “bizarre” by online critics.
Truly. Watch it. The Trumpyist thing ever. Shaping the nuclear-armed future one fake movie trailer at a time. https://t.co/xeyZD1m8Dz
— Naomi Klein (@NaomiAKlein) June 12, 2018
I didn't believe this was real at first. I'm still not quite sure I believe it's real. I'm not sure I'm real anymore. https://t.co/gcBHhstEwF
— James Poniewozik (@poniewozik) June 12, 2018
We’re living in a 30 Rock episode… pic.twitter.com/lolLy7210c
— Griddy Films (@griddyfilms) June 12, 2018
I've watched it with my own eyes, and I honestly still can't believe this fake Trump-Kim movie trailer is a thing that exists https://t.co/81oKUIcUZZ
— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) June 12, 2018
So many takes on the Trump-Kim summit — it's also okay to wait until we know more before declaring summit a success or a con job.
But… I hope we can ALL agree this fake movie trailer (produced by U.S. govt) played before today’s press conference was a biiiiit strange: pic.twitter.com/Di1ouCzlH4
— Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) June 12, 2018
"For your Nobel Prize consideration…"
— Dusty Wilson (@DustiestWilson) June 12, 2018
My favorite part of the fake movie trailer that Trump showed Kim Jong Un is when the stock footage of the basketball player dunking seemlessly transitions into an exploding nuke. pic.twitter.com/FJnA2Ldnku
— Chinese Proverb (@RMac18) June 12, 2018
Clearly the trailer-making skills are on par with his tweeting and communication skills.
— Chris Urban (@_urban_) June 12, 2018
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