While President Donald Trump’s summit with Kim Jong-un was an unprecedented moment in his diplomatic career, a bizarre video presentation for Kim saw Trump assume a role he knows well: the braggadocious real estate mogul.
After both leaders took tentative steps towards peace on the Korean peninsula, Trump told the press that a video presentation for Kim showing the economic benefits of a sanctions-free future helped sway the North Korean leader.
The Hollywood-style video opens with a dramatic gravel-throated voiceover that portrays Kim as a leader with a choice to make: Embrace cooperation or embrace destruction. A montage of the two leaders gives way to images of explosions as Kim’s choice is explained.
“Will this leader choose to advance his country and be part of a new world? Be the hero of his people?” the voiceover asks. “Will he shake the hand of peace and enjoy prosperity like he has never seen? A great life, or isolation? Which path will be chosen?”
The video then shows a beach resort with hotels and a yacht marina, as speedboats skip across the blue-green water. After showing the video, Trump told the press that North Korea’s current artillery proving grounds would make great five-star developments.
“They have great beaches! You see that whenever they’re exploding the cannons into the ocean, right?” Trump told reporters. “So I said, [to Kim] ‘Boy, look at that view. Wouldn’t that make a great condo behind.”
Trump says you could have the "best hotels in the world" on the beaches that North Korea uses for its artillery drills pic.twitter.com/4qo2UD17HG
— Gearoid Reidy (@GearoidReidy) June 12, 2018
Trump implored Kim to think like a billionaire, not a dictator, and swap his missile tests for high-rise property development: “Instead of doing that you could have the best hotels in the world right there. Think of it from a real estate perspective,” the former tycoon said.
The four-minute video was played in both Korean and English, and a copy was given to Kim’s team in both digital and VHS formats, the White House team perhaps assuming that Kim needed an old-school way of viewing it again.
“I tell you what,” said Trump. “He [Kim] looked at that tape, he looked at that iPad. And I’m telling you they really enjoyed it, I believe… it captures a lot, captures what can be done.”
Channeling his inner executive, Trump explained how North Korea’s location between two major economic powers could make it a goldmine for tourism.
“You have South Korea, you have China and they own the land in the middle. How bad is that, right? It’s great!”
Despite Trump’s swagger, it may be a long time before cranes start appearing on the North Korean coast. US sanctions on North Korea will remain in place until Kim abandons his nuclear weapons, something he is unlikely to do until the US can guarantee his regime’s safety.
Trump predicted that the two leaders would meet again “many times,”and told reporters that Kim has already accepted an invitation to come to the White House “at the appropriate time.”
“A new world can begin today, one of friendship, respect and goodwill. Be part of that world, where the doors of opportunity are ready to be opened,” the dramatic video implores Kim.
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