Ivanka Trump Had No Words For The North Korea Summit

by Lani Seelinger
Pool/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Donald Trump's meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has captured the attention of much of the world, so it's natural that his children also would have taken a moment to commemorate it. Senior White House advisor and presidential daughter Ivanka Trump posted a North Korea photo on Instagram, showing her father and his North Korean counterpart looking very strong against a backdrop of the two countries' flags.

The photo was taken during Donald Trump and Kim's initial handshake, where they briefly posed for the press before moving on to their first sit-down meeting. Ivanka Trump posted the Instagram photo of President Trump and Kim without any caption, but the photo shows the two men both staring straight-faced into the camera with the red, white, and blue flags looking particularly bright behind them.

Previously, Ivanka Trump hadn't addressed the Trump-Kim meeting directly, instead only tweeting a pair of vague quotes that seemed to refer to her father's actions moving forward with Kim. A Sunday tweet of hers read, "'Walk tall, walk straight and look the world right in the eye.' -Val Doonican." She then followed that up with a more pointed tweet on Monday, which said "'Those who say it can not be done, should not interrupt those doing it.' -Chinese Proverb."

According to Quartz, the Chinese proverb that Ivanka Trump cited isn't a well-known one, or indeed one that anyone recognizes at all. It seems to be a pointed criticism of the naysayers who spoke up in advance of her father's meeting with Kim, however, and as Splinter News noted, she's used vague, unsourced proverbs to make points on her Twitter feed in the past as well. She hasn't always approached North Korea this way, however.

When she was in South Korea for the 2018 Winter Olympics, she called for "maximum pressure" on the Hermit Kingdom, which was right in line with what her father's administration was advocating. This was around the same time that Donald Trump announced a massive new sanctions package against North Korea, saying that it "really is a rogue nation." Today, on the other hand, Trump told ABC News that "I believe he wants to get it done ... I do trust him," referring to Kim and his vague promise of denuclearization.

Ivanka Trump did not plan on attending the Singapore summit, but her earlier Twitter posts and this Instagram post strongly suggest that she approved of the meeting taking place.

This is an interesting position for the first daughter to take, as she's been one of the Trump administration's major public defenders of human rights about various issues in the past — and yet according to Human Rights Watch, North Korea is one of the most brutally oppressive regimes in the world. In September, for example, she gave a speech at the U.N. condemning human trafficking.

"It is hard to grasp how tens of millions of people across the globe can experience this scale of human suffering. It is unacceptable," Trump said at the United Nations General Assembly. The administration's work on human trafficking, she said, was "a clarion call to action in defense of the vulnerable, the abused, and the exploited," according to Vanity Fair.

Now, she's evidently celebrating her father's meeting with a despot who, according to The New York Times, presides over a nation that he's kept in line with a network of gulags and at least 340 executions of people who were deemed to be politically inconvenient — or just not respectful enough to their leader. The picture she shared on Instagram puts Kim and her father on exactly equal footing, though — they're looking the same direction, with the same stance and posture, and both of their countries' flags flank them in the background. With this photo, she offered no comments about Kim's regime and no condemnation of his human rights record.