en-es  What body language experts saw when Trump and Kim Jong Un met
What body language experts saw when Trump and Kim Jong Un met.

The two leaders began their summit in Singapore with a historic handshake.

By Monica Ulmanu and Kevin Uhrmacher, The Washington Post, June 12, 2018.

In front of a backdrop of alternating American and North Korean flags, President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un approached from opposite sides of a stage and shook hands in the middle.

While the leaders spoke little in their appearances Tuesday, experts in body language pointed out notable nonverbal cues that could provide insight into their demeanors during the meeting.

Experts noted that Trump touched Kim on numerous occasions, while Kim was much more restrained. “It was those certain small unexpected touches by Trump that showed his power,” said Patti Wood, author of “SNAP: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language, & Charisma.” “Touch has the potential to signal warmth,” she added. “But the majority of these additional touches signal power and Trump’s desire to look in control of the meeting.” Kim Hyung-hee, director of the Korea Body Language Lab, explained that “in Korean culture, a young person would not touch the older person's body heedlessly. Kim Jong Un did not initiate much physical contact, probably in a move to be prudent and polite to an elderly person.” Respect for the elderly is one of the long-held Confucian values on the Korean Peninsula and could be the explanation for Kim keeping a more humble position in front of Trump.

He arrived at the summit minutes before Trump, carrying a black notebook, which could have been “a move to show his sincere and enthusiastic attitude for the talks with Trump,” Kim Hyung-hee said.

While the two leaders shook hands many times during the summit, it was Trump who initiated most of the handshakes.

“In Korean culture, a young person does not suggest a handshake to an older person,” he said.
Not only did Trump initiate most of their interactions and was the first one to speak to the media, he also played the role of the host, showing Kim the way and directing him.

He pointed to the cameras before they both turned for their first formal photograph. Then he directed Kim to exit the red carpet and head farther along a portico toward their meeting room.

“Trump was leading Kim from a step ahead, but not in a forceful way. He was a step ahead when walking with Kim and constantly turned toward Kim to ask for his opinion,” Kim Hyung-hee explained.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/world/national-security/north-korea-summit/?utm_term=.d2191e1482a2&wpisrc=nl_most&wpmm=1
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What body language experts saw when Trump and Kim Jong Un met.
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“Trump was leading Kim from a step ahead, but not in a forceful way.
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What body language experts saw when Trump and Kim Jong Un met.

The two leaders began their summit in Singapore with a historic handshake.

By Monica Ulmanu and Kevin Uhrmacher, The Washington Post, June 12, 2018.

In front of a backdrop of alternating American and North Korean flags, President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un approached from opposite sides of a stage and shook hands in the middle.

While the leaders spoke little in their appearances Tuesday, experts in body language pointed out notable nonverbal cues that could provide insight into their demeanors during the meeting.

Experts noted that Trump touched Kim on numerous occasions, while Kim was much more restrained. “It was those certain small unexpected touches by Trump that showed his power,” said Patti Wood, author of “SNAP: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language, & Charisma.”

“Touch has the potential to signal warmth,” she added. “But the majority of these additional touches signal power and Trump’s desire to look in control of the meeting.”

Kim Hyung-hee, director of the Korea Body Language Lab, explained that “in Korean culture, a young person would not touch the older person's body heedlessly. Kim Jong Un did not initiate much physical contact, probably in a move to be prudent and polite to an elderly person.”

Respect for the elderly is one of the long-held Confucian values on the Korean Peninsula and could be the explanation for Kim keeping a more humble position in front of Trump.

He arrived at the summit minutes before Trump, carrying a black notebook, which could have been “a move to show his sincere and enthusiastic attitude for the talks with Trump,” Kim Hyung-hee said.

While the two leaders shook hands many times during the summit, it was Trump who initiated most of the handshakes.

“In Korean culture, a young person does not suggest a handshake to an older person,” he said.
Not only did Trump initiate most of their interactions and was the first one to speak to the media, he also played the role of the host, showing Kim the way and directing him.

He pointed to the cameras before they both turned for their first formal photograph. Then he directed Kim to exit the red carpet and head farther along a portico toward their meeting room.

“Trump was leading Kim from a step ahead, but not in a forceful way. He was a step ahead when walking with Kim and constantly turned toward Kim to ask for his opinion,” Kim Hyung-hee explained.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/world/national-security/north-korea-summit/?utm_term=.d2191e1482a2&wpisrc=nl_most&wpmm=1