Speed Reads

Trump-Kim Summit

Trump and Kim's body language might say more than the deal they signed

There's not much to derive from the ambiguous denuclearization deal President Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un signed Tuesday. But the two leaders' historic handshake leaves a lot to unpack.

Trump took charge with a firm handshake and constantly touched Kim on the arm in a display of dominance, body language experts told The Washington Post. Kim avoided initiating contact or handshakes, which matched Korea's traditional deference to the elderly but also conveyed a humble position.

On Tuesday's episode of The Daily podcast, New York Times reporter Mark Landler pointed out that Kim fidgeted with the reading glasses he was holding. That only added to Kim's meekness and made Trump seem like the "senior partner" in the meeting.

Landler also broke down the optics of Trump and Kim's pre-conference plans. While Trump kept a low profile and met with Singapore's president the day before the historic summit, Kim went sightseeing and hit up a Sheldon Adelson-owned casino resort. There was an expectation that Kim would stay secluded, so this looked like a show of confidence to his own people, Landler said.

This meeting was all about image for both the leaders. Kim would've been satisfied with a picture of American and North Korean flags side by side, Landler said, while Trump is always out to impress. No word yet as to how Kim's personal toilet looked to his constituents.