Pompeo confirms Trump sent Kim Jong Un letter

Mike Pompeo, the U.S. secretary of state, on Sunday confirmed reports that President Trump sent North Korea’s Kim Jong Un a letter that was described by Kim in foreign reports as “excellent.”

The White House has maintained that it continuing dialog with Pyongyang. Kim has sent Trump a birthday letter earlier this month.

Last February, Trump and Kim met in Vietnam for a summit that was largely viewed as a failure. Trump abruptly walked out at the time and said he was unwilling to agree to Kim’s terms of lifting all sanctions without securing a meaningful commitment to denuclearization.

Trump has used sanctions as a major tool in his international diplomacy and not just limited to North Korea. He just announced “major” new sanctions for Iran after Tehran’s provocative attack on an unmanned naval drone and alleged attacks on two oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz.

“I can confirm the letter was sent,” Pompeo said. He did not elaborate what was in the note, but North Korea’s state-run news agency reported that Kim is “seriously” contemplating its contents.


Analysts told the AP that the gesture of sending letters is part of North Korean efforts to present Kim as a legitimate international statesman who is reasonable and capable of negotiating solutions and making deals. Because of the weight of formality they provide, Kim might see personal letters as an important way to communicate with leaders of countries the North never had close ties with, they say.

The Associated Press contributed to this report