Donald Trump’s salesman pitch to Kim Jong-un included a bizarre video, in the style of a
The four-minute film, contrasting images of warplanes and artillery with skyscrapers and speedboats, portrays Trump and Kim as the stars of history in the making – “two men, two leaders, one destiny” – with the US president getting top billing. The narrator suggests that “a new world can begin today, one of friendship, respect and goodwill”.
But analysts in
Attributed to “Destiny Pictures”, the video was played on two big screens before Trump’s press conference in
“I showed it to him today. Actually, during the meeting – toward the end of the meeting – and I think he loved it.”
Trump said the video was played for about eight members of the North Korean delegation on an iPad, “and I thought they were fascinated by it”.
“It is striking that the video contains open threats that failure to make a deal will lead directly to war and conflict. The overtones are very ominous. I am skeptical this has had the desired effect, but the summit has kicked the disarmament can down the road, so we will have to wait and see.”
Michael Green, senior vice-president for
“They don’t want to open up to investment, because they can’t handle it. They can’t handle the influences, the information, North Koreans having their own access to money and information. They want to open up enough to get the appearance and experience of being a rich country for the elite, and to get cash.”
He added: “It was Donald Trump applying what he did in business to diplomacy. It probably showed Kim Jong-un that Donald Trump wants a deal. But it’s not the deal Donald Trump’s thinking, I suspect.”
Frank Aum, a senior expert on
“While I applaud the creativity, I don’t think the video itself was decisively compelling because it focused more on economic development rather than Kim Jong-un’s primary concern, which is his security. The Trump administration needs to address the security issue – such as ending military exercises – instead of thinking that economic handouts will convince Kim Jong-un.”
And David Litt, a former speech writer for Obama, said: “I don’t have anything against the White House producing its own videos in theory, and if it advances American interests, I’m all for it. That said, this particular video is truly amateurish – a word salad topped with gratuitous appeasement of a monstrous regime.
The White House will no doubt hope the video goes down better than the 2014 movie The Interview, starring Seth Rogen and James Franco as journalists tasked with the killing of Kim. It caused North Korean officials to complain to the
Michael Cornfield, a political science at
“But Kim is the man who freaked out over his mock assassination in the feature film The Interview back in 2014. He had his cyber-team hack Sony Pictures and his threats of terrorism caused theaters to cancel screenings. So perhaps this is a way to forge a bond.”