The most bizarre moment of the Singapore Summit was the propaganda video prepared by Team Trump to show North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, which he also showed to the media. Reporters thought this video was North Korea propaganda. It came from the White House.
Reporters crowded into a Singapore auditorium Tuesday, expecting President Trump to walk out and announce the results of his historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Suddenly, two huge screens on either side of the empty podium came to life. Soaring music boomed over the speakers, and the reporters were bombarded with a montage portraying North Korea as some sort of paradise.
Golden sunrises, gleaming skylines and high-speed trains. Children skipping through Kim Il Sung square in Pyongyang. North Korean flags fluttering between images of Egyptian pyramids, the Taj Mahal and the Lincoln Memorial.
In a split-screen shot, Kim Jong Un waved to an adoring crowd while President Trump stood beside him with his thumb in the air. The pair appeared over and over again, like running mates in a campaign video.
The film went on like this for more than four minutes, with brief interludes of missiles, soldiers and warships interrupting the pageantry. Some journalists, unable to understand the Korean-language narration, assumed they were watching one of Pyongyang’s infamous propaganda films. “What country are we in?” asked a reporter from the filing center.
But then the video looped, playing this time in English. And then Trump walked onto the stage and confirmed what some had already realized.
The film was not North Korean propaganda. It had been made in America, by or on the orders of his White House, for the benefit of Kim.
“I hope you liked it,” Trump told the reporters. “I thought it was good. I thought it was interesting enough to show. … And I think he loved it.”
The crowd sounded skeptical. Some wondered if Trump had not, in fact, just provided U.S.-sanctioned propaganda to one of the country’s oldest adversaries.
Yes, he did.
Proud of his handiwork, “Trump tweeted a link to the video, for all to see.”
The nearly five-minute movie even has its own Hollywood-style vanity logo: “A Destiny Pictures Production,” though a film company by the same name in Los Angeles denied any involvement in making it, and the White House has not yet responded to questions about it.
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The reporters had many questions.
“Do you now see Kim Jong Un as an equal?” asked a Time magazine correspondent.
“In what way?” Trump asked.
“You just showed a video that showed you and Kim Jong Un on equal footing, and discussing the future of the country.”
* * *
“Are you concerned the video you just showed could be used by Kim as propaganda, to show him as … ”
Trump cut the question off. “No, I’m not concerned at all. We can use that video for other countries.”
The New York Times opinion page today responded with a video of its own. Trump Made Kim a Movie Trailer. We Made It Better.
President Trump arrived at the historic meeting with Kim Jong-un of North Korea with a secret weapon: a fake movie trailer portraying the two leaders as heroes tied to each other by destiny.
The video, which he played for Mr. Kim on an iPad, is full of clichéd, random images and propagandistic messaging. It’s void of any real understanding of the high stakes between the United States and North Korea.
So the Opinion video team recut Mr. Trump’s trailer in an effort to make it better and more honest. But don’t get your hopes up: This movie won’t be coming to a theater near you. Ever.