North Korean Leader Praises ‘Excellent’ Letter From Trump


24 June, 2019

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un received a personal letter from U.S. President Donald Trump and is considering its contents.

North Korean state media reported on the letter Sunday.

The official Korean Central News Agency showed a picture of a thoughtful Kim holding a letter. The report said Kim praised its "excellent content."

"Kim Jong Un said that he would seriously contemplate the interesting content," KCNA reported.

The report did not say anything else about the letter.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed the letter was sent to Kim. The top U.S. diplomat said he hopes "to continue these important discussions with the Koreans to denuclearize" the area. He made the comment as he was leaving Washington for a trip to the Mideast on Sunday

Exchanging letters, photos

Trump said earlier this month he received a "beautiful," "very personal" and "very warm" letter from the North Korean leader.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reads a letter from U.S. President Donald Trump, in Pyongyang, North Korea, in this picture released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency, June 22, 2019.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reads a letter from U.S. President Donald Trump, in Pyongyang, North Korea, in this picture released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency, June 22, 2019.

Nuclear talks between U.S. and North Korean officials have come to a halt. However, Kim and Trump have exchanged letters and pictures for the past year. Both men say their relationship is warm.

Working-level talks stopped after a February meeting between Trump and Kim in Hanoi, Vietnam, ended without an agreement. Kim was unhappy that the U.S. would not lift sanctions quickly. Trump was unhappy that Kim would not agree to completely end his nuclear program.

Since then, North Korea has tested several short-range ballistic missiles and other weapons. Kim has said he will give the U.S. until the end of the year to increase possibilities for talks.

Trump has said he is willing to hold a third summit with Kim if the conditions are right.

G-20 and beyond

Next week, Trump will visit South Korea following his meetings in Japan at the Group of 20 summit.

Some are wondering if Trump could try to hold another summit with Kim at that time, but there is no evidence he will.

South Korean officials have also said they are working to hold a summit between the leaders of North and South Korea before Trump's visit.

The letter comes a day after Chinese President Xi Jinping finished a state visit to North Korea. While on the visit, he promised to be involved in the nuclear talks.

"After months of...little contact between the U. S. and North Korea, it appears there is some diplomatic maneuvering underway," said Bonnie Glaser. She is an Asia specialist at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

She added that it was unclear if the change was the result of Xi's visit to Pyongyang.

I'm Jonathan Evans.

VOA's William Gallo reported this story. Susan Shand adapted it for VOA Learning English. Mario Ritter was the editor.

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Words in this Story

contemplatev. to think about

content– n.the words or things that are in something

sanctions– n.an action that is taken or an order that is given to force a country to obey international laws by limiting or stopping trade with that country, by not allowing economic aid for that country

ballistic missile – n. a weapon that is shot through the sky over a great distance and then falls to the ground and explodes

summit– n.a meeting

maneuver– v.a clever or skillful movement or action