SEOUL • North Korean state television yesterday aired footage of Mr Kim Jong Un's historic summit with President Donald Trump in Singapore, with the report describing Mr Kim as a "prominent world leader" who is revered universally.
The 40-minute broadcast by Korean Central Television seized the chance to heap praise on the North Korean leader, showing footage of his night-time stroll on the Singapore waterfront and saying he was welcomed with "deep respect and boundless enthusiasm".
"The streets were crowded with well-wishers who were full of reverence for Chairman Kim, who has come to lead world politics with his extraordinary political acumen," the female voiceover said.
Mr Kim was "warmly welcomed" by crowds "wherever he appeared", according to the voiceover, as the footage cut to a scene of him strolling through Gardens by the Bay accompanied by Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, as crowds strained to take pictures.
"The meeting of the century awaited by the whole world finally took place" on Tuesday, the voiceover said to shots of Mr Kim's motorcade en route to the summit. The footage showcased scenes spanning the hugely anticipated day, including Mr Kim and Mr Trump's first handshake in front of their national flags.
The broadcast also showed the pair sitting down for talks, sharing a working lunch, signing a joint statement and Mr Trump showing Mr Kim his armoured limousine, nicknamed "the Beast". "President Trump showed Chairman Kim his 'Beast' and expressed respect and endless admiration for Chairman Kim," it said.
The video ended with Mr Kim returning home to a red carpet hero's welcome, with honour guards and crowds of hysterical well-wishers. "The whole country heartily welcomed home the prominent world leader, revered by all the people under the heaven," it concluded.
The propaganda push not only signalled Mr Kim's new confidence on the world stage after a series of diplomatic wins, but it also conveyed a desire for greater openness and economic development.
"It is like openly declaring he is the leader of a normal state, and he has got the confidence to do so," said Dr Ahn Chan Il, who defected from North Korea in 1979 and is now head of the World Institute for North Korea Studies.
"It doesn't only herald Kim's decision to open up the economy, but also his determination that he, from now on, will let everyone know his whereabouts without feeling too worried of his safety."
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, WASHINGTON POST