22 May, 2018
This is What's Trending Today...
The planned meeting between the leaders of the United States and North Korea may or may not happen.
But a special coin has already been created to mark the event.
The coin shows images of both U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The two men are facing each other. Behind them are images of the American and North Korean flags.
The top of the coin reads "Peace Talks." The back shows an image of the White House. There are also images of Air Force One, the president's airplane, and the official presidential seal.
The coin describes Kim as "Supreme Leader," the name North Korea uses when identifying his position.
The White House Communications Agency released the coin. The agency often creates special coins, called "challenge coins" before major events or presidential visits. An American business manufactures the coins. They are presented to foreign visitors, diplomats or members of the military.
A number of special coins are also available for sale through the White House Gift Office.
The agency ordered 250 of the Trump-Kim coins in preparation for the planned June 12 summit in Singapore.
People are reacting to the coin on social media. Many are noting that the meeting might not even happen.
North Korea last week threatened to "reconsider" the meeting. It released similar statements on Tuesday, the same day Trump said the summit "may or may not work out for June 12." He made the comment after his meeting at the White House with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
Others on social media question whether an American coin should honor the North Korean leader.
United States Senator Chuck Schumer urged the White House to remove Kim from the coin, calling him a severe dictator.
Schumer is the leading member of the Democratic Party in the Senate. He wrote on Twitter, "challenge coins are a time honored tradition and certainly appropriate in this situation, but Kim Jong Un's face has no place on this coin."
Korea expert Robert E. Kelly is a professor at Busan University in South Korea. On Twitter, Kelly called the coin "gross" and "un-American."
Still others are discussing the unappealing image of Kim on the coin. They note that his face looks especially large.
Raj Shah, a Trump administration official, said that the White House did not have "any input into the design and manufacture of the coin."
And that's What's Trending Today.
I'm Ashley Thompson.
Words in This Story
coin - n. a small, flat, and usually round piece of metal issued by a government as money
seal - n. an official mark that is stamped on paper or on a small piece of wax to show that something (such as a document) is genuine and has been officially approved
challenge - n. a difficult task or problem : something that is hard to do
certainly - adv. without doubt
appropriate - adj. right or suited for some purpose or situation
gross - adj. rude or offensive
input - n. advice or opinions that help someone make a decision