World News

Trump-Kim Meeting Is Yet to Come, but U.S. Has Minted the Coins

Posted May 22, 2018 4:37 p.m. EDT

Amid growing doubts about whether President Donald Trump will meet on June 12 with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, the Trump administration came under criticism Tuesday over commemorative coins that were created to honor the planned meeting.

The coins, issued by the White House Communications Agency, a military unit assigned to the president, feature likenesses of the two leaders, referring to Kim as “Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un.”

Some faulted the United States for honoring a dictator who runs a repressive regime.

Robert Kelly, the South Korea analyst who became known as the BBC dad after his children’s intrusion into his home office went viral, mocked the administration for fostering a “personality cult,” calling the coins “just gross.”

And some noticed what appeared to be a double chin on Kim.

The White House later issued a statement saying it “did not have any input into the design and manufacture of the coin.” It said such coins had been ordered since 2003 by members of the White House Communications Agency, whose military service personnel are assigned to handle presidential communications, including during trips abroad.

Trump is said to be concerned about the risks of going ahead with a meeting with Kim in Singapore on June 12, particularly after North Korea declared last week that it would never trade away its nuclear weapons capability in exchange for economic aid.