People Freak Out Over Trump’s ‘Salute’ To North Korean General. Here’s What They Missed

Virginia Kruta Associate Editor
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American media personalities and commentators fell all over themselves Thursday when video footage released by the North Korean regime showed an awkward salute and handshake between President Donald Trump and a North Korean general.

In the video, President Trump shook hands with a line of North Korean dignitaries. When he reached the general, he held out his hand to shake — but the general instead offered a salute. Trump quickly returned the salute, they shook hands, and they moved on.

The overall media reaction was shame and horror, as they tweeted their shock and outrage that an American President would salute a general from such a brutal regime, thus giving Kim Jong Un legitimacy.

But a number pointed out that President Trump did not initiate the salute — which is important because, according to military protocols, the salute is always initiated by the lower ranking person.

The North Korean general, when he saluted President Trump, was recognizing him as a superior and showing him respect. The return of such a salute serves as an acknowledgment of that initial show of respect.


CNN’s full report did reveal that President Trump was, in fact, returning the salute — in spite of the fact that several CNN employees tweeted only about Trump offering a salute.