There were many startling moments in Donald Trump’s press conference that followed his half-day summit with Kim Jong Un in Singapore—such as the announcement that the US would suspend war games with South Korea as part of negotiations to get the North Korean leader to denuclearize. That’s a huge give from the US.
Just as striking as Trump’s remarks on everything from how denuclearization would proceed to North Korea’s real-estate possibilities was the video the White House screened ahead of the presser—apparently made especially for Kim.
Scripted like a movie trailer, it seemed oddly like a piece of state propaganda from another era—or another country. It shows North Korea’s leader at a crossroads—a crossroads that begins with a montage of historic monuments, such as the Colosseum in Rome, the pyramids of Egypt, and the Taj Mahal in India. One path leads to a bright future in full color for North Korea (complete, no doubt, with beachfront condos), while the other will keep the country on a path of violence and poverty.
“Destiny Pictures presents a story of opportunity, a new story, a new beginning, one of peace, two men, two leaders, one destiny,” a narrator intones. “A story about a special moment in time when a man is presented with one chance that may never be repeated … What will he choose? To show vision and leadership? Or not?
— David Nakamura (@DavidNakamura) June 12, 2018
The bad future, naturally, is in black and white. The good future is one of fluffy clouds, elegant bridges, perfect slam dunks, soaring skyscrapers, spinning delivery drones, modern manufacturing, and credit cards.
Trump and Kim have the starring roles—as their images appear, the voiceover says “only a very few will make decisions or take action that renew their homeland and change the course of history”—while South Korea’s president Moon Jae-in appears to be playing a strictly supporting part.
It was a hit with Kim, according to Trump.
“I showed it to him today, actually during the meeting, toward the end of the meeting, and I think he loved it,” Trump told reporters. “That could very well be the future.”
One reporter asked if the US wasn’t concerned North Korea could use the video for its own propaganda purposes. Trump’s short answer: No.
Watch the movie in full in Korean (from 38:55 to 43:35) or English (from 43:31 to 47:45).