SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea’s state TV has aired a documentary glorifying leader Kim Jong Un’s recent visit to Vietnam that omitted the failed nuclear negotiations with President Donald Trump.
The footage’s release Wednesday night came amid reports that North Korea is restoring some facilities at its long-range rocket launch site that it dismantled last year as part of disarmament steps.
North Korean documentaries are typically propaganda venerating Kim, the subject of a strong personality cult among the North’s 25 million people. Some observers say omitting the status of the nuclear talks also shows the North hopes to continue negotiations, while also not letting North Korean people know of any diplomatic failures that could damage Kim’s leadership.
The documentary shows a smiling Kim talking with Trump while walking together inside a Hanoi hotel last week.
It shows Kim waving from a black limousine when it passed through a Hanoi street lined with residents waving North Korean and Vietnamese flags. The footage also shows Kim visiting the North Korean Embassy where some embassy officials and their family members skipped and wept with emotions before they took a group photo with the backdrop of a huge picture of Kim’s late father and grandfather.
The documentary called the Kim-Trump summit “yet another meaningful incident on the issue of world peace.” It cited Kim as saying North Korea and the U.S. must put an end to their decades-long animosity and confrontation. But the documentary didn’t mention about the lack of an agreement following the Kim-Trump summit.
The Hanoi summit broke down due to disputes over U.S.-led sanctions on North Korea. Washington and Pyongyang blame each other for the talks’ breakdown, but both sides still leave the door open for future negotiations.
Earlier Tuesday, two U.S.-based websites specializing in North Korea studies cited commercial satellite imagery as indicating that North Korea is rebuilding some structures at its northwestern rocket launch facility. South Korea’s spy service gave a similar assessment to lawmakers in Seoul in a closed-door briefing on Tuesday.
“I would be very, very disappointed in Chairman Kim,” Trump said when reporters asked him about reports of new work at the North’s launch site. “I don’t think I will be” disappointed, Trump said, “but we’ll see what happens.”
The Kim-Trump meeting in Hanoi is their second summit, since they met for the first time in Singapore last June. After the first summit, Kim pledged to work toward “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” without providing a roadmap or a timetable for his disarmament steps.
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