Among the many tactics President Donald Trump rolled out in his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore was apparently a four-minute video, styled like a movie trailer, that casts Trump and Kim as the heroes of a story about “two men, two leaders, one destiny.”
It was part of an overall pitch that reaching a deal between the US and North Korea would help North Korea advance technologically and economically — including, Trump suggested, some real estate development.
“They have great beaches,” Trump said. “You see that whenever they are exploding the cannons in the ocean,” he said. “I said look at that view. That would make a great condo. I explained it. I said instead of doing that, you could have the best hotels in the world. Think of it from the real estate perspective. South Korea and China and they own the land in the middle. Great. I told them, you may not want to do what’s there. You may want to do a smaller version of it. That could be. He looked at that tape.”
The “tape,” actually a video that Trump showed Kim on an iPad, was presented in both English and Korean to journalists before Trump’s press conference.
“History is always evolving, and there comes a time when only a few are called upon to make a difference,” the narrator of the video says. “But the question is — what difference will the few make? The past doesn’t have to be the future. Out of the darkness can come the light, and the light of hope can burn bright.”
The video is heavy-handed in its Hollywood approach — it casts the potential reconciliation between North and South Korea as a “sequel,” and the narrator proudly declares, “Destiny Pictures presents: a story of opportunity.”
It lays out two potential scenarios looking ahead — one of “moving back,” as images of missiles flash across the screen, or one of “moving forward,” with the missiles retreating. It promises a “new world” where the “doors of opportunity are ready to be open, investment from around the world, where you can have medical breakthroughs, an abundance of resources, innovative technology, and new discoveries.”
“Will this leader choose to advance his country and be part of a new world? Be the hero of his people?” the narrator says, apparently referring to Kim. “Will he shake the hand of peace and enjoy prosperity like he has never seen?”
The clip shows a potential bright future for North Korea with a variety of images, ranging from children playing in bumper cars to people dancing to speedboats, skyscrapers, and horses running along a beach.
“I think he loved it,” Trump said of Kim’s reaction to the video in a press conference after the summit. He said the optimistic outcome could “very well be the future.” When a reporter asked whether he was worried the North Korean regime could use the video as propaganda, something it often does, he brushed it off. “Not at all,” he said. “We can use that for other countries.”
Kim seemed to like the video too, saying through a translator that many people would see it as a scene from a “science fiction movie,” according to the New York Daily News.