Asked why President Donald Trump returned the salute of a North Korean military general during the Singapore summit with Kim Jong-un, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders replied:
"It's a common courtesy that when a military official from another government salutes that you return them."
According to POLITICO, military experts disagree:
However, military and intelligence experts noted Thursday that U.S. presidents typically do not salute military officials from adversarial nations. Washington and Pyongyang have no formal diplomatic relationship, and North Korea is still technically at war with South Korea, a key U.S. ally.
Trump faced backlash after footage of his salute, featured in a video produced by North Korean state media, found its way to a U.S. audience.