North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un speaks as he stands with US President Donald Trump south of the Military Demarcation Line that divides North and South Korea, in the Joint Security Area (JSA) of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized zone (DMZ) on June 30, 2019. (AFP / Brendan Smialowski)

Old photos of Trump recirculate online in false posts about 'Pyongyang summit'

Copyright AFP 2017-2021. All rights reserved.

A video has been viewed tens of thousands of times in multiple posts on YouTube and Facebook that claim it shows former US President Donald Trump meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for a summit in Pyongyang on March 14, 2021. The claim is false: all the images featured in the video have circulated in unrelated news reports and social media posts. As of March 30, 2021, there were no credible reports Trump visited Pyongyang in 2021.

The claim was shared alongside this YouTube video. It is titled: “Breaking News) President Trump secretly visited Pyongyang on March 14.”

The video, which has been viewed more than 60,000 times, includes a screenshot showing images and news reports.

The Korean-language narration in the clip translates to English in part as: “It seems like North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and President Trump met on March 14, 2021, Pyongyang time. Mainstream media are talking about Biden’s attempt to talk to North Korea, but Trump already made it happen by meeting Kim. This is the fact, which is now reported to the world. In fact, those who are supposed to know [about the summit] are aware, according to my source. The photos included here prove that to you.”

AFP has numbered the images and news reports shown in the screenshot below:

Screenshot of the misleading YouTube video, captured on March 25, 2021. Each photo and report has been numbered by AFP in yellow.

The above screenshot also includes two Telegram messages dated November 2017. Neither of them reference Trump's purported visit to Pyongyang.

A similar claim about the alleged Trump-Kim summit was shared on Facebook here, herehere, and here.

The claim is false: the photos and news reports seen in the YouTube video pertain to unrelated events.

As of March 31, 2021, there were no credible reports that Trump had visited Pyongyang in 2021.

British royal family photos

Image 1 shows two photos of Trump standing with Britain's Queen Elizabeth. They were published here by The New York Times on July 14, 2018.

The caption reads: “President Trump briefly walked ahead of Queen Elizabeth II during his visit to Windsor Castle on Friday.” The photos were credited to Richard Pohle.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the photos in the misleading social media post (L) and the original image published by The New York Times (R):

Screenshot comparison between the photo seen in the misleading social media post (L) and the original image published by The New York Times (R).

Image 2 shows Trump standing between Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles. It was published here by Getty Images on June 3, 2019.

The photo's caption reads: "Queen Elizabeth II (second left) officially welcomes US President Donald Trump (C) and First Lady Melania Trump (L) with Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (R) at a Ceremonial Welcome at Buckingham Palace on June 03, 2019 in London, England".

Below is a screenshot comparison of the photo seen in the misleading social media post (L) and the original image published by Getty Images (R):

Screenshot comparison between the photo seen in the misleading social media post (L) and the original image published by Getty Images (R).

US politician picture

Image 3 shows Trump with Georgia State Representative Vernon Jones, who shared it here on his verified Twitter account on March 16, 2021.

“I enjoyed the opportunity to catch up with the President earlier today in Florida,” Jones' tweet reads. 

Below is a screenshot comparison of the photo seen in the misleading social media post (L) and the original image published by Jones (R):

Below is a screenshot comparison between the photo seen in the misleading social media post (L) and the original image published by Jones (R).

Melania Trump images

Image 4 shows Trump standing with his wife, Melania. It was published on November 4, 2020 in this article by HELLO! -- a British magazine.

The article is headlined: “Melania Trump's most stylish First Lady outfits over the years.”

It reads in part: “On her state visit to the UK in June 2019, Melania impressed with her stunning clothing collection once again, wearing everything from Dior Haute Couture to that amazing red Clare Waight Keller gown (pictured above), which she wore for a dinner at the American ambassador's London residence, Winfield House. So very Meghan Markle!”

Below is a screenshot comparison of the photo in the misleading social media post (L) and the original image published by HELLO! (R):

Screenshot comparison between the photo seen in the misleading social media post (L) and the original image published by Hello Magazine (R).

Image 7 shows Melania wearing a pink dress. It was published in this HuffPost report on February 14, 2019.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the photo seen in the misleading social media post (L) and the original image published by HuffPost (R):

Screenshot comparison between the photo seen in the misleading social media post (L) and the original image published by Huffpost (R).

The photo's caption, credited to Bloomberg via Getty Images, reads: “President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump wait for the arrival of Ivan Duque, Colombia’s president at the White House on Feb. 13."

Unrelated news reports

Screenshots of three unrelated news reports were included in the video to support the false claim about Trump’s purported visit to Pyongyang.

The report in Image 5 is headlined: “Trump meets Kim Jong Un, becomes first sitting U.S. president to step into North Korea”. It was published here on June 30, 2019, by US broadcaster NBC News.

“Side-by-side with Kim in the heavily-fortified demilitarized zone, Trump became the first sitting U.S. president to cross the 1953 armistice line separating North and South Korea, then joined Kim for a roughly 50-minute meeting,” the report reads in part. 

Trump and Kim held a one-day summit held at the Korean Demilitarized Zone on June 30, 2019, as stated in this AFP report. 

The report in Image 6 is headlined: “North Korea has ignored the Biden administration's diplomatic efforts after Trump's unprecedented nuclear summit with Kim Jong Un”.

It was originally written by Reuters news agency and was subsequently published here by MailOnline, the website for UK tabloid The Daily Mail, on March 13, 2021.

The report quoted a senior Biden administration official as saying that North Korea had not responded to behind-the-scenes diplomatic outreach since mid-February.

It contains no reference to Trump's alleged meeting with Kim in Pyongyang in March 2021.

 
Richard Kang