After entering a hallway apparently following the initial handshake between the two leaders, Trump is seen in the footage greeting a number of North Korean officials alongside Kim. When Trump reaches a uniformed officer of the North Korean military and extends his hand for a handshake, the officer salutes the president. Trump then salutes the North Korean officer in return.
While the moment appears to be an honest mistake by Trump, who has confessed he hadn't slept for 25 hours in the run-up to the meeting, it is also a stunning blunder from an American commander in chief. After all, former President Barack Obama was excoriated for bowing to Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah in the first year of his presidency, including by Trump. In a particularly apt comparison of how times have changed, Time's Ryan Teague Beckwith recalled the outrage that followed Obama once saluting a U.S. Marine with a coffee cup in-hand:
— ryan teague beckwith (@ryanbeckwith) June 14, 2018
Many, though, were in fact outraged by Trump's salute:
This is much worse than National Anthem kneeling pic.twitter.com/IIllCfS6zp
— The Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) June 14, 2018
My brother is stationed in South Korea.
This week, his Commander in Chief saluted the enemy on the other side of the lines. pic.twitter.com/xU9SwTF7nV
— The Hoarse Whisperer (@HoarseWisperer) June 14, 2018
Watch the moment below.
Here's the president of the United States saluting a uniformed officer of the North Korean military, recorded by Korean Central Television to be broadcast in North Korea. pic.twitter.com/MsuoNi0Tan
— Robert Maguire (@RobertMaguire_) June 14, 2018