In a letter dated April 2018 — two months before meeting with the former U.S. president for the first time at the Singapore summit — Kim said, “I am ready to work with your excellency with all my heart and devotion” to accomplish a feat no one has ever accomplished. On the same day, Trump replied that he was “happy to meet” Kim to “drastically” improve relations between the two nations.
Trump wrote Kim a second letter four months later, in which he expressed gratitude for repatriating 55 remains that were thought to be those of U.S. soldiers killed in the 1950–53 Korean War.
“Thank you for keeping your promise to start the repatriation process of our soldiers,” Trump wrote in the letter dated August 2018. “I look forward to seeing you soon,” he added.
In June 2019, Kim extended birthday wishes to Trump and congratulated him on the one-year anniversary of the “historical moment” in Singapore. “I extend my warmest regards for your excellency’s birthday,” Kim wrote.
However, things started to rot a month later when Kim, in a letter dated August 2019, expressed displeasure about joint military drills. He said he was “offended” by the “paranoid” war exercises between the U.S. and South Korean military.
“As of now, it is very difficult for me and my people to understand the decision and behavior of you and South Korean authorities,” he said.
This development came a month after Trump reportedly admitted taking Kim's letters and other “tremendous stuff” along with him when he left the White House at the end of his term.
“Most of it is in the archives, but the Kim Jong Un letters … we have incredible things,” Trump told The Atlantic.
This story was originally published on Oct. 3, 2022.
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