Fact Check

Viral Video Is Misleading: Putin and Kim Both Sipped After Toasting Each Other

While Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin could have "trust issues" as the video implies, they were not on display during an April 2019 meeting.

Published Jan 25, 2024

 (Twitter / Snopes)
Image Via Twitter / Snopes
Claim:
A video shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin toasting each other then placing their drinks on the table without consuming them.

A video of a 2019 meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin is often shared as a way to illustrate "trust issues." The video shows both leaders toast each other and then place their drinks down without sipping. A Jan. 24, 2024 post on X (formerly Twitter), for example, shared the video with the caption "When no one trust no one":

This video was manipulated. The portion appearing to show the two leaders placing their full drinks on the table after toasting is simply a clip of the two picking their glasses up played in reverse. The full unedited video shows the action as it occurred, and it ends with both leaders sipping from their drinks after their toast:

This meeting occurred in Russia on April 25, 2019, following a breakdown of talks between former U.S. President Donald Trump and Kim over North Korea's nuclear program, with Putin attempting to serve as a mediator, as reported by The Washington Post:

Russian President Vladimir Putin emerged from his first summit with Kim Jong Un [...] saying that North Korea needs international security guarantees, not just U.S. pledges, to consider giving up its nuclear arsenal.

Putin’s call for more multinational involvement contrasts sharply with President Trump’s strategy of one-on-one dialogue with the North Korean leader. It also reinforced North Korea’s attempt to link security and sanctions relief as twin demands in negotiations over its nuclear program.

Because the video was manipulated to suggest a sequence of events that did not happen, the claim is False.

Sources

Ferris-Rotman, Amie, and Simon Denyer. “Putin: Kim Jong Un Needs International Security Guarantees to Give up Nuclear Arsenal.” Washington Post, 26 Apr. 2019. www.washingtonpost.com, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/putin-arrives-in-russian-far-east-ahead-of-first-ever-summit-with-kim-jong-un/2019/04/24/a2d941f8-65c6-11e9-a698-2a8f808c9cfb_story.html.

Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un Toast to Peace at First Summit in Russia. www.youtube.com, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myS3A6p5xuA. Accessed 3 Jan. 2024.

Alex Kasprak is an investigative journalist and science writer reporting on scientific misinformation, online fraud, and financial crime.