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The video, released by North Korean state television, shows Trump walking with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, and extending his arm for a handshake with a military officer. The officer responds by saluting Trump, who then salutes the officer back. The two then shake hands before he Trump continues on past him and shakes hands with several other officials.
BBC published the video on Thursday morning. The salutes begin around the 55 second mark.
It has not been verified if the footage is authentic, Raw Story points out.
During a segment on CNN, Rear Admiral John Kirby—a retired Navy officer—said North Korea could see the salute as “propaganda” and that it shows the country’s citizens a “level of deference and respect that Trump has paid to them and their military leaders.”
“It was an inappropriate thing for him to do from a protocol perspective, but now he’s played right into the North’s propaganda about their legitimacy on the world stage,” Kirby said.
Earlier this week the president and North Korea signed an agreement that aims to denuclearize the Korean peninsula, although it’s light on details.
The president’s salute was bashed online.
North Korea wanted this salute to confer even more legitimacy on their murderous regime. Dictator loving Trump was more than happy to oblige https://t.co/1Ug7kcgsGx— Adam Blickstein (@AdamBlickstein) June 14, 2018
Just the President of the United States saluting a North Korean general. Cool cool cool. pic.twitter.com/L5t94EKzkf— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) June 14, 2018
Donald Trump salutes a North Korean general.— Red T Raccoon (@RedTRaccoon) June 14, 2018
This salute is now being used as propaganda in North Korea.
What would Truman and MacArthur say about this?
Do we need to make a note?
"Do not salute the enemy" pic.twitter.com/wVpjJVJkZI
Remember when Obama got shit for his “coffee salute”? Yeahhhh...... https://t.co/HoxezwqM6J— Adam Lombardi (@Adlomb) June 14, 2018
1) DO NOT CONGRATULATE DICTATOR.— Dave Simon (@hairyhilarity) June 14, 2018
2) DO NOT COMPLIMENT DICTATOR ON KILLING DRUG USERS.
3) DO NOT SALUTE DICTATOR’S GENERAL.
Trump’s No-No List is getting longer than his aides can write in sharpie on his tiny hands.#NorthKoreanSummit #KimTrumpSummit #TrumpKimMeeting #NorthKorea https://t.co/SgQJrD3HNe
If the footage is deemed authentic, it’s not the best optics for the president who used Wednesday to take a victory lap and bash critics of the trip on Twitter.
Andrew Wyrich is a politics staff writer for the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the internet. Andrew has written for USA Today, NorthJersey.com, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).