- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 14, 2018

The White House said Thursday that President Trump was showing “common courtesy” when he saluted a North Korean general during his summit earlier this week.

“It’s a common courtesy when a military official from another government salutes, that you return that,” said White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

In video footage released by North Korean state media, Mr. Trump is shown returning a salute from North Korean Gen. No Kwang Chol, who was in full uniform. Mr. Trump first extended his hand, to which the general responded with a salute; the president then returned the salute, and afterward they shook hands.

The salute for an officer of a nation that’s been hostile to the U.S. has raised some criticism on social media. The left-leaning veterans group VoteVets.org called it “outrageous” in a fundraising email Thursday.

The encounter took place during Mr. Trump’s summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on Tuesday. Returning a salute from a military officer of a friendly foreign nation is common practice for U.S military officers; it’s also considered a sign of respect by a president, although there is no rule for presidents saluting foreign military officers.

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