Donald Trump’s Strange Letter to Kim Jong Un

The president sent a terse note to North Korea’s leader, citing “the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement.”

Kim and Trump on a TV screen
A news broadcast in Seoul shows President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. (Lee Jin-man / AP)

It was going to be the first meeting between an American president and a North Korean leader in history—an audacious effort to resolve the crisis over North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons. But on Thursday—after days of bitter back-and-forth between the United States and North Korea over how to approach denuclearization, with a North Korean official threatening a “nuclear-to-nuclear showdown” with the U.S. even as the North Korean government destroyed a nuclear test site as a show of good faith—the White House abruptly announced that the June 12 summit in Singapore would not take place.

The news came in a letter from Donald Trump to Kim Jong Un, the full text of which is here:

Dear Mr. Chairman:

We greatly appreciate your time, patience, and effort with respect to our recent negotiations and discussions relative to a summit long sought by both parties, which was scheduled to take place on June 12 in Singapore. We were informed that the meeting was requested by North Korea, but that to us is totally irrelevant. I was very much looking forward to being there with you. Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting. Therefore, please let this letter serve to represent that the Singapore summit, for the good of both parties, but to the detriment of the world, will not take place. You talk about your nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used.

I felt a wonderful dialogue was building up between you and me, and ultimately, it is only that dialogue that matters. Some day, I look very much forward to meeting you. In the meantime, I want to thank you for the release of the hostages who are now home with their families. That was a beautiful gesture and was very much appreciated.

If you change your mind having to do with this most important summit, please do not hesitate to call me or write. The world, and North Korea in particular, has lost a great opportunity for lasting peace and great prosperity and wealth. This missed opportunity is a truly sad moment in history.

Sincerely yours,

Donald J. Trump

President of the United States of America