Few Americans alive today have set foot inside North Korea, the isolated, nuclear-armed dictatorship sometimes called the Hermit Kingdom.
On Sunday, Ivanka Trump became one of them, capping a consequential three-day Asian trip in which the president’s eldest daughter played a very public role that blended family ties with diplomatic work that is usually performed by diplomats.
She pronounced the short walk to the other side of one of the world’s most fortified borders “surreal.”
Previously, at the Group of 20 economic summit in Japan, Ivanka Trump was everywhere – at her father’s side at times when other leaders’ spouses were present (first lady Melania Trump skipped the trip), in meetings during which her presence puzzled other participants, and even giving an awkward video “readout” of Trump’s meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
A video of Ivanka Trump talking with British Prime Minister Theresa May, French President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde at the G-20 also went viral over the weekend. Lagarde’s impatient side-eye as Ivanka Trump interjects in what appears to have been a back-and-forth between Macron and May suggested irritation at finding herself standing alongside the daughter of the U.S. president – rather than the president himself.
“As soon as you charge them with that economic aspect of it, a lot of people start listening who otherwise wouldn’t listen,” May can be heard saying, as Lagarde nods in agreement.
“And the same with the defense side of it, in terms of the whole business that’s been, sort of, male-dominated,” Ivanka Trump then says, as a startled-looking Lagarde turns toward her, then purses her lips.
The first daughter’s prominence in Japan and…