White House releases dramatic movie trailer to woo Kim Jong Un

In a day that wavered between historic and surreal, one of the strangest developments may have been a video released by the White House.

Moments before U.S. President Donald Trump addressed reporters on his five-hour meeting with North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un, on two huge screens.

The four-minute video appeared to mimic a movie trailer: an unseen narrator delivered aphorisms as North Korean children smiled and danced, a basketball player dunked a ball, and the sun rose over a woman standing in a golden field of wheat.

“The past doesn’t have to be the future,” the narrator said in a deep baritone. “Out of the darkness can come the light, and the light of hope can burn bright.”

According to the Washington Post, some reporters in the room initially thought the video — which was initially screened in Korean — was North Korean propaganda. When the narration switched to English, they got the message.

The video was made by the White House, and it appeared scripted solely for Kim. It offered a thriving, sun-dappled vision of North Korea if Kim chose to abandon his country’s powerful nuclear arsenal. That vision included speed boats, robotic assembly lines, bullet trains, gleaming skylines and hydroelectric dams.

“It comes down to a choice,” the narrator said. “On this day, in this time, at this moment, the world will be watching, listening, anticipating, hoping. Will this leader choose to advance his country and be part of a new world? Be the hero of his people? Will he shake the hand of peace and enjoy prosperity like he’s never seen?”

This is the video President Trump shared with Chairman Kim at the historical Singapore Summit….

Posted by on Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Kim is often described a despotic dictator who has starved his people and killed those who challenge his supreme leadership. The video chose to refer to him by his official North Korean title, “Chairman Kim Jong Un.”

In a press conference that followed the meeting, Trump doubled down on the message of a prosperous North Korea, but offered a slightly different vision for the country’s future as a global tourism hot spot.

“As an example, they have great beaches. You see that whenever they’re exploding the cannons into the ocean, right?” Trump said.

Trump, who built an eponymous hotel empire before becoming the 45th U.S. President, said he expressed that vision in his one-on-one meeting with Kim.

“I said, you know, instead of doing that, you could have the best hotels in the world right there. Think of it from a real estate perspective. You have South Korea, you have China, and they own the land in the middle — how bad is that, right?”

Trump and Kim both hailed the meeting as a major success. But the nature of the agreement between the two unpredictable leaders was light on specific details, such as how and when North Korea planned to denuclearize, or what sort of “protections” Trump offered.

The agreement essentially commits both leaders to continued talks – something that was already on the record before the summit.

With files from The Associated Press