During a private meeting this week aimed at denuclearizing North Korea, President Trump brought out an iPad and played Kim Jong Un a bizarre video laying out the stakes of the summit and the riches that could come to North Korea as a result of the agreement.
The video, edited to look and feel like a low-budget trailer of a bigger movie about Trump and Kim bringing peace to the world, also played before Trump’s press conference following the summit.
The point of the video appears to be to show Kim that North Korea can choose to either face the military consequences of sticking with nuclear weapons, or reap the riches of the outside world through denuclearization.
The video is full of hyperbolic assertions about the historic destiny that awaits Trump and Kim, played over stock footage of everything under the sun.
Destiny Pictures presents a story of opportunity. A new story, a new beginning. One of peace. Two men, two leaders, one destiny. A story about a special moment in time, when a man is presented with one chance which may never be repeated. What will he choose? To show vision and leadership? Or not?
This trailer has everything — including a man dunking a basketball, drones delivering packages, speedboats, babies, Sylvester Stallone in the Oval Office, children in bumper cars, horses running through the water, missile launches, CAT scans, waterslides, Kim and Trump acting like world leaders, and that special effect where the celluloid of the film appears to burn up to signify serious military consequences.
True to Trump’s obsession with real estate development opportunities, the video also features a sweeping shot of a Miami Beach high-rise condo development as an example of the economic development that awaits North Korea.
The buildings featured, the Blue Diamond and Green Diamond, are the tallest condo high-rises in Miami Beach, an hour down the coast from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago.
Trump seemed to fixate on his previous career even after the summit. He praised North Korea’s beaches and touted them as a possible real estate venture. “As an example, they have great beaches,” he said in the Singapore news conference following the summit. “You see that whenever they’re exploding their cannons into the ocean. I said, ‘Boy look at that view. Wouldn’t that make a great condo?’ And I explained, 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? It’s great.”
The trailer-style video also references “Destiny Pictures,” which appears to be a conceit about the way in which the producers view the nature of this week’s meeting rather than the name of the video production company that made the video.
The trailer portrays the world leaders as twin stars of a hagiography. The video plays up the fact that the “world will be watching” and asks again and again if “this leader” will be a “hero of his people,” “shake the hand of peace,” and “enjoy prosperity like he has never seen.”
But the reality of the negotiations is much more mundane. Trump certainly got his global photo op, but Kim Jong Un gave no new ground, Trump gave up military exercises without talking to South Korea about it, the language about denuclearization in the agreement is “meaninglessly weak,” and the agreement they signed was very similar to the one signed between South Korea and North Korea earlier this year.