Donald Trump Shocks Reporters with Unprecedented Propaganda Video
North Korea is infamous for its state-run propaganda videos. Many of them, for years, have featured shoddy graphics of the destruction of America.
But when a curiously well-produced propaganda video started playing at the Donald Trump-Kim Jong Un peace summit, most reports assumed that it was Kim's doing.
But it was not. The propaganda video was produced by the White House. And it is very, very controversial.
Reporters watched in confusion as the video began.
The narration is in English and the video is in high quality.
Though the video that we have included has English narration, the video played there was in Korean.
The images, though, depict North Korea as some sort of paradise. Children skip along happily in Pyongyang.
And throughout the video, Trump and Kim Jong Un are shown, back to back, in a manner that The Washington Post likened to how running mates are portrayed in political ads.
The video also features familiar images of nuclear missiles launching with cataclysmic results.
Except that the video features an alternative future, in which North Korea modernizes into something idyllic and almost out of science fiction.
There's even a random, hilarious image of a basketball star executing an epic slam dunk – an apparent homage to Kim's noted NBA fandom.
After four minutes, the video looped – and played the same video again, but in English.
This was when reporters realized that the United States government had just provided a propaganda reel to one of the world's most oppressive regimes.
Donald Trump himself came out and confirmed as much.
"I hope you liked it,” Trump announced to the press. “I thought it was good. I thought it was interesting enough to show. … And I think he loved it."
The video was produced, specifically, by the National Security Council.
As Anderson Cooper quips: "I guess everyone's a producer these days."
But little jabs like that may distract from how seriously many Americans are taking this video.
Many, from everyday citizens to reports, remarked that they have never seen anything like this from an American President.
The White House proudly posted this video on its Facebook page, provoking the scorn and outrage of Americans.
"WOW! People need to wake up, are u kidding me?" one concerned citizen writes. "This is the scariest video I have EVER seen."
That same commenter continues: "If u don't know what the definition of PROPAGANDA is, I encourage you to look it up and then make the connection with this video and the very definition of propaganda. 45 needs to be stopped before it's too late."
Another commenter notes that the video's style looks familiar, writing: "How much did we pay for this BS? Looks like the Hunger Games or Scientology propaganda."
To be clear, they're saying that it looks like something out of The Hunger Games' fictional universe, not like the films themselves.
"This is bizarre," another wrote. "I don’t understand why this was produced."
Presumably, someone imagined that it was a good idea.
"This started playing on my news feed." another commenter shares. "I thought it was a satire film…. that commentary. But then I realized it was posted by the white house! Lmao….."
They continue: "I can't believe I'm still shaking my head 500+ days into this presidency. This isn't an episode of the apprentice!"
"You have got to be effing kidding me!!!!!!" another writes. "This is so obviously an ego stroker for both of these 'leaders'!!!"
Some commenters, however, felt that this propaganda video was a fine or even wise move on Trump's part.
"Wow there are alot of Crybabies on here," one remarked.
"How could anyone be upset about the hopes for PEACE."
It is important to note that one can support the idea of talks with North Korea and still strongly object to how they are carried out.
"I'm so proud of our President," another commenter said, adding: "Thank you."
Another had a strongly worded message for a slew of their fellow Americans, writing: "Haters, so-called experts, liberals: YOU NEVER GOT THIS FAR."
Why does the video have such cheesy qualities? That is unclear.
Perhaps by design – it may be that experts figured that it would appeal to Kim Jong Un. But it may be that the people who made it thought that this is what a good propaganda video would look like.
The larger issue is that it exists at all.
Americans are accustomed to very limited propaganda, from military flybys at sports games to essentially every film of television show that features the military.
This video, however, is on another level. It looks almost satirical, but it is not funny.
Is whitewashing one of the modern world's biggest monsters and mass-murderers the path to true, lasting peace?
Some Americans would suggest that, even if it is, is it worth our souls in the process?
Somehow, Trump's meeting with Kim Kardashian was less controversial.