US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un spoke of a “magical force” and a “special friendship” in the letters they exchanged, CNN reported Wednesday, citing transcripts of two letters that it obtained.
In one of the letters sent a month after Kim’s meeting with Trump at the DMZ in June 2019, the North Korean leader wrote that he was upset that the South Korea-US military exercises had not fully stopped.
“I am clearly offended and I do not want to hide this feeling from you. I am really, very offended,” Kim wrote.
“Your Excellency, I am immensely proud and honored that we have a relationship where I can send and receive such candid thoughts with you.”
For his forthcoming book on Trump’s presidency, “Rage,” US journalist Bob Woodward gained access to 25 letters that Trump exchanged with Kim, and wrote that the letters are filled with “declarations of personal fealty that might be uttered by the Knights of the Round Table, or perhaps suitors.”
Addressing Trump as “Your Excellency,” Kim maintained an unusual tone of diplomatic courtship.
“Even now I cannot forget that moment of history when I firmly held Your Excellency’s hand at the beautiful and sacred location as the whole world watched with great interest and hope to relive the honor of that day,” Kim wrote to Trump on Dec. 25, 2018, following their first meeting in Singapore.
Another meeting “between myself and Your Excellency,” Kim added, would be “reminiscent of a scene from a fantasy film.”
Trump wrote back to Kim on Dec. 28, “Like you, I have no doubt that a great result will be accomplished between our two countries, and that the only two leaders who can do it are you and me.
Trump has tweeted out two of the 27 letters, but the other 25 have never been seen before. Woodward was able to review all of the letters, but was not given copies, so he recorded transcripts of their contents into his audio recorder for his new book, CNN said.
In June 2019, four months after the two leaders’ second meeting in Hanoi, Kim wrote that “every minute we shared 103 days ago in Hanoi was also a moment of glory that remains a precious memory.”
“I also believe that the deep and special friendship between us will work as a magical force,” Kim said.
Following the DMZ meeting in June 2019, which Trump proposed, the US president wrote to Kim on June 30, “Being with you today was truly amazing,” attaching a copy of the New York Times’ front page from that day.
Two days later, Trump wrote again, sending 22 photographs of their meeting: “These images are great memories for me and capture the unique friendship that you and I have developed.”
In the second summit in February 2019, Trump said he knew Kim was not ready to make a deal, and the two leaders argued over which nuclear sites Pyongyang would dismantle, according to CNN.
“I know every one of the sites. I know all of them, better than any of my people I know them. You understand that,” Trump said, according to Woodward.
When Kim refused to budge, Trump tried a new approach.
“Do you ever do anything other than send rockets up to the air?” Trump asked Kim.
“Let’s go to a movie together. Let’s go play a round of golf.”
After Woodward obtained Kim’s letters, Trump warned him in a January 2020 phone call: “You can’t mock Kim. I don’t want to get in a f---ing nuclear war because you mocked him.”
The CIA never said who wrote Kim’s letters to Trump, but Woodward wrote that CIA analysts called them “masterpieces,” and “marveled at the skill someone brought to finding the exact mixture of flattery while appealing to Trump’s sense of grandiosity and being center stage in history.”
By Kim So-hyun (email@example.com