Trump praises North Korea's "great beaches," says they're a perfect location for condos and hotels
On Tuesday morning, President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un met for the first time. The historic summit took place on the resort island of Sentosa in Singapore. Last year, this meeting seemed unthinkable, since the two world leaders were trading insults. Kim called Trump a "mentally deranged U.S. dotard" and taunted him with nuclear missile tests. Meanwhile, Trump dubbed Kim "Rocket Man," threatened him with "fire and fury," and bragged his nuclear button is "bigger and more powerful."
Now those hostile exchanges appear to be water under the bridge. At the summit, Trump and Kim shook hands, spoke privately for an hour, and signed a statement that the United States and North Korea would open relations. However, the details of that agreement have not been released, as of this writing.
Did Kim agree to complete denuclearization? If so, did Trump agree to remove American troops from South Korea? What about the human rights violations and brutal mistreatment of prisoners under Kim's oppressive regime? We're still waiting for answers.
In a press conference following the summit, reporters tried to get more information from the president. "Kim Jong Un is saying he wants a brighter future with prosperity for his people," said one American journalist. "We know they lived under oppression. You showed the video of what the future could be like. Do you have an idea specifically of the model that he would like to go toward?"
The video the journalist is referring to played before the conference. The sleek five-minute montage was created to persuade Kim by showing how glorious North Korea's future could be if they came to an agreement with the United States. The country was depicted as a bustling futuristic paradise, with Kim smiling and waving, portrayed as a hero. According to The Washington Post, reviews from international journalists were mixed. Some reporters initially mistook the clip for a North Korean propaganda film.
Trump replied that the vision of North Korea in the video was "the highest level of future development." He told Kim, "You may want to do a smaller version of this." Then, the real estate tycoon turned politician started describing his vision for the country. Apparently, their "great beaches" are the perfect location for hotels and condos.
"As an example, they have great beaches. You see that whenever they are exploding their cannons into the ocean. I said, boy, look at that view, wouldn't that make a great condo? And I explained it. I said, instead of doing that, you could have the best hotels in the world.
"Think of it from the real estate prospective. You have South Korea, you have China, and they own the land in the middle. How bad is that, right? It's great. ... (Kim) looked at that tape. He looked at that iPad. I’m telling you, they really enjoyed it, I believe. OK?"
North Korea may have some great beaches, but it also has monstrous hard-labor prison camps. It is estimated that 100,000 North Koreans are kept in the horrific gulags. "Have you betrayed them by legitimizing Pyongyang?” pressed one reporter. Trump replied, "No. I think I've helped them ... At a certain point, I really believe [Kim's] going to do things about it. I think they are one of the great winners today, that large group of people that you're talking about. I think, ultimately, they're going to be one of the great winners as a group."
Let's hope so.