Just when I think that there is nothing more that Donald Trump can do that will shock me, along comes another shocking moment that leaves me wondering, what were Donald Trump voters thinking? The latest Trump fiasco is worse than anything else he has said, or done, especially for the American soldiers who have given their lives for the protection of America. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, and this one is shocking.

As you can clearly see, Donald Trump is saluting North Korean No Kwan Chol, a military official. The picture comes to us courtesy of the North Korean propaganda machine. As has been pointed out earlier, the real winner of the Korean summit was Kim Jong Un. North Korea has not wasted the opportunity to let its people, and the world know that North Korea is being treated as an equal by the American government. On Monday, we’ll delve deeper into the geopolitics of the Korean peninsula. Today, we’ll focus on the picture.

The fact that North Korea included the salute in its propaganda video proves what a propaganda win the summit was for Kim Jong Un.

The poignant image shows Donald Trump deferring to the North Korean military.

As most readers know, the president is the commander in chief of the United States military forces. As such and confirmed by Army Regulation 600-25 (September 24, 2004 version), all U.S. military personnel in uniform must salute the president. (1-5 (f)) There is no requirement for the president to return the salute, although it is customary in the American military that junior personnel are to initiate the salute and the superior officer is to return the salute. However, this is only required when both individuals are in uniform.

According to several news sources, it was Ronald Reagan that started the tradition of U.S. presidents returning a salute. Remember, presidents are in civilian clothing and the Army manual states that personnel in civilian clothing are not required to salute. However, the regulations require military personnel in uniform to salute the president.

The president returning a salute is a courtesy.

On May 24, 2013, Barack Obama was chastised on social media for not returning a Marine’s salute as he boarded Marine One. Video footage shows Obama returning to shake the Marine’s hand.

A military salute is to show respect for an officer, the flag or the country.

Although civilians tend to see a military salute as sycophancy among the ranks, the reality is that in most militaries, the salute is a professional expression of service between the members.

On July 30, 2012, Donald Trump chastised Barack Obama via Twitter for Obama bowing to the Saudi king.

We now have a picture of Donald Trump saluting a North Korean military officer, a courtesy reserved for allies and members of the same military.

I am not a citizen, nor did I serve in the United States military and yet I am outraged by the Trump salute. Why? Because it shows clear disrespect for the atrocities committed by the North Korean military and the disrespect of the sacrifices made by American servicemen/women. Especially for those who have have served on the demilitarized zone or during the Korean War.

Of course, none of this matters to the Make America Great Again voters because it was never about America. Their vote for Donald Trump was nothing more than a vote to keep immigrants out of the country, to demonize Mexicans and to make believe that America’s failures are the result of other countries.

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...

5 replies on “Donald Trump Salutes An Enemy General”

  1. My fave photo was of Obama bowing to King Rat (Abdullah) in Saudi Arabia. That, I think, was on his apology tour.

  2. P****e payaso. The general is left with his hand ready to shake (probably thinking ‘What fool is this?’). Great pic of el trompas pretending he’s a military man yet when he had the chance he opted for deferments.

    That last paragraph sums it all up. The late, great Carlos Fuentes addressed this about the USA – demonizing Mexico.

  3. Apparently you’ve never films of WW2 German generals that were captured, exchanging salutes with American officers. Generals are quartered in a much higher level than the regular POWs.

    Trump is officially the Commander-in-Chief of US military forces so he IS a member of the military. Bill Clinton attempted to use that status to delay legal action against him for the Lewisky issue. He withdrew the claim after getting for that. We won’t get into the Clinton deferments, failure to report for duty after assuring the NG unit he would or his attendance at a Soviet sponsored seminar in Moscow. You can guess the topic.

    The N Korean general not being familiar with US military customs was going for a handshake.

    Let’s not make a big deal out of the gesture. The biased attack is very obvious. I’m surprised his choice of suit wasn’t criticized.

    1. I usually don’t respond to comments but in this case I can’t let this one slide. The Geneva Convention governs POWs and it has no comment or rule on saluting. The closest thing is that the Geneva Convention states the POWs are to be placed under the command of the highest ranking fellow POW.

      Furthermore, are you implying that either Trump or the North Korean official are prisoners of war? So why, the comparison?

      Watch, the video, the North Korean general offers the salute, and then offers the handshake. The “commander in chief” is dressed in civilian wear, thus the U.S. military rules on saluting apply. First, those wearing civilian wear are excluded from the salute regulations, except for the commander in chief, who must be saluted by American military personnel when in uniform. There is no requirement for POTUS to return the salute.

      It is a custom started by Ronald Reagan and as a custom it is intended only to be used as an expression of “respect,” especially when POTUS offers the salute.

      As such, Trump extended a courtesy of “respect” to the North Korean soldiers.

      1) The United States is in a State of War with North Korea,

      2) North Korea’s military is implicated in various crimes against humanity, and

      3) Trump’s salute signifies that the United States government respects North Korea, as an equal.

      This has nothing to do with “US military customs” because there is no requirement for POTUS to return a salute. It is tradition for military personnel to offer salutes to foreign heads of state when in uniform and during official visits.

      Finally, had this been Barack Obama or George W. Bush, most would be bothered or outraged.

      Bottom line, Donald Trump returned a salute that is highly inappropriate no matter how you and the other Trumpsters spin it.


  4. No I’m not suggesting that Trump or the NK General are POWs. Just saying its a military courtesy. It’s one officer to another. A greeting.

    Would you have been more agreeable if Trump had greeted them with disrespect? The whole thing was about “coming to the table”. Flattery will get you everything.

    Trump did nothing wrong. No, I wouldn’t have said anything if any other President had done the same thing. However, bowing to a foreign leader is another issue.

    I have to admit that might signal recognition. I can remember walking towards Soviet officers, East Germany, they would turn towards a store window to avoid exchanging salutes. We also had instructions to ignore East German military. If questioned or approached by one, we were to demand a Soviet officer presence. It was a punishable act should you allow inspection of your vehicle or speak to East German Guards at the border. We would hold up a sign stating a Soviet officer must be summoned or allow us to proceed.

Comments are closed.