North Korean state media ran two days of stories on Kim Jong Un’s trip to Singapore, including a huge spread on his meeting with President Donald Trump. North Korea’s Rodong Sinmun newspaper splashed 14 photos of the reclusive leader’s travels across its front page.
And on Wednesday, the official newspaper of the Workers’ Party of Korea featured three full pages of photos from Kim’s summit with Trump.
North Korea typically heavily censors its local and foreign content, with events often not being reported until several days after, if at all. The decision to publish extensive coverage of the summit seems to reflect North Korea’s desire to portray itself to citizens as a player on the global stage, and is considered by some to be a propaganda coup.
The country was completely in the dark during Kim’s April meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in. The only summit-related coverage was reports that Kim had traveled to Panmunjom in the DMZ. Major events, like the 2018 Olympics in which North Korea sent a delegation of athletes, cheerleaders, and high-ranking officials, also faced near complete media censorship.
But Wednesday’s issue did provide some clues to North Korea watchers about how Kim is portraying the summit back home. Rodong Sinmun detailed how sanctions “could be lifted” and that talk of denuclearization was hardly mentioned.