President Trump has released a new commemorative coin ahead of his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The coin, struck by the White House Communications Agency (WHCA), features a picture of Jong Un who the coin refers to as the “Supreme Leader” of North Korea.
The opposite side of the coin depicts Air Force One flying over the White House and the presidential seal with the title “Visit of the President.”
Less than a month to Trump-Kim summit, White House Communications Agency (WHCA) releases its “trip coin.”
This is #74 of 250 made. pic.twitter.com/UTEJg1GyWv
— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) May 21, 2018
The WHCA is known for minting commemorative coins for various foreign dignitaries and military veterans. The coins are available for purchase in the White House gift shop.
Following outcries over the “supreme leader” title, Deputy White House spokesperson Raj Shah said the administration “did not have any input into the design and manufacture of the coin.”
The coin quickly drew outrage on Twitter as users of the social media spoke out against the use of the term “Supreme Leader.”
The President’s historic talks are scheduled to begin on July 12 in Singapore but have already been met with skepticism by North Korean leadership. Following the United States’ previous planned military exercises with South Korea, reports circulated that Kim Jong Un was prepared to end the talks before they ever began.
Further reports have suggested that North Korea is not prepared to enter into “one-sided” negotiations that would force Pyongyang to give up their nuclear weapons.
In preparation for his meeting, Trump is meeting with South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in to assess whether North Korea’s commitment to rid itself of its nuclear program is genuine. President Jae-in has long been a supporter of bringing the United States and North Korea coming to the table and in March, Moon sent special envoys to North Korea to encourage talks between Pyongyang and Washington.
In the meantime, the President’s administration is attempting to play hardball before negotiations even begin. Speaking on Fox News, Vice President Mike Pence warned, “It would be a great mistake for Kim Jong Un to think he could play Donald Trump.” When asked if Trump was willing to walk away from the summit Pence quickly responded, “There’s no question.”
“This will only end like the Libya model … if Kim Jong Un does not make a deal,” Pence said. The Vice President was referring to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, who agreed to denuclearization and was ultimately killed by a militia.
“The U.S. is not going to tolerate the regime in North Korea possessing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles that threaten us and our allies,” Pence added.
A commemorative coin seems a little premature given the volatility of the potential talks but only time will tell if Trump’s meeting with Kim Jong Un will bring about any type of real change.