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Trump salutes North Korea general in awkward exchange aired on state television

The interaction features in a 42-minute programme about the Singapore summit broadcast in North Korea

Kimberley Richards
New York
Thursday 14 June 2018 17:26 BST
Donald Trump salutes North Korean soldier at Singapore summit

North Korean state media has aired footage of Donald Trump awkwardly saluting a general in Kim Jong-un's military as part of its first video package from the historic Singapore summit.

The brief interaction was featured in a 42-minute programme about the unprecedented summit between Mr Trump Mr Kim. The programme - with narration from the country’s most famous news presenter Ri Chun-hee - aired on state-run television on Thursday, a day after Mr Kim had returned to Pyongyang and two days after the meeting.

In the video, Mr Trump can be seen going to shake the hand of a North Korean general, who salutes the American president instead. The pair then try again, with the president saluting and the general looking to shake hands. They eventually settle on a handshake.

In other sections of the footage Trump can be seen shaking hands with Mr Kim and walking side-by-side the North Korean leader.

Since the summit, many have questioned what has materially come out of Mr Trump’s sit-down with the North Korean leader. Mr Trump has since declared he developed a

“special bond” with Mr Kim and insisted North Korea has pledged to get rid of his nuclear weapons programme.

Donald Trump downplays human rights abuses by Kim Jong-un's dictatorial regime

The two leaders signed a declaration to “work towards the complete denuclearisation” of the Korean peninsula but there are mounting questions from members of the US Congress and beyond about how different - if at all - the new agreement is from previous commitments made by North Korea during past.

Mr Trump’s has also faced criticism over remarks that appear to minimise North Korea’s poor human rights record, with the UN having repeatedly accused Pyongyang of violations. A UN human rights report from 2014 alleged that crimes “entail extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment [and] rape”.

When pressed on Mr Kim’s human rights record during an interview with Fox News, Mr Trump praised the North Korean leader calling him a “tough guy” who leads a country with “tough people.”

Fox News reporter Brett Baier appeared taken aback by Mr Trump’s apparent passiveness about Mr Kim’s human rights records. Mr Baier, who called

the North Korean leader “a killer,” questioned Mr Trump further on Mr Kim’s record but Mr Trump refocused on other leaders instead.

“Other people have done some really bad things,” Mr Trump said. “I mean, I could go through a lot of nations where a lot of bad things were done.“

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