News & Politics

Trump Reportedly Dictated 'Every Word' of His Bizarre Letter to North Korea's Kim Jong-un

The letter is filled with Trump's own phraseology and bombast.

Photo Credit: Photo from White House Press Secretary Twitter account

It will come as little surprise to anyone who read it that President Donald Trump dictated "every word" of his bizarre and disconcerting letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un canceling the nations' upcoming summit in Singapore, according to a new report from the Daily Beast.

Deputy assistant to the president for Asian affairs Matt Pottinger reportedly made the comments about Trump's authorship in a conference call with surrogates. He also noted that North Korean officials had not attended planning meetings in Singapore ahead of the summit for several days before Trump decided to cancel the whole thing.

The letter itself reads pretty clearly as though it came straight from Trump's mouth. He engages in his habits of blame shifting while also employing his somewhat disjointed syntax when he writes:

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We were informed that the meeting was requested by North Korea, but that to us is totally irrelevant.

He also uses his typical overblown and vague adjectives, describing the dialogue between the two countries as "wonderful." But nowhere is his authorship clearer than when he writes about nuclear weapons: 

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.

Director of the Asia Program at The Wilson Center Abraham Denmark noted that, aside from being bizarre, the letter served to undercut the U.S. position in dealing with North Korea on the global stage.

"The tone of the letter is oddly warm and collegial. The President clearly sees Kim as an equal and counterpart, which will give Kim a tremendous amount of domestic and international legitimacy," Denmark tweeted. "The timing of this letter is also highly questionable. Coming just a few hours after NK demolished [its] nuclear test site, it guarantees that the US takes the blame for undermining diplomacy. NK comes out looking like the reasonable one."

He concluded: "Ultimately, this cannot just go back to how it was before the Winter Olympics. North Korea is in a stronger position, Kim has far more legitimacy, China is more engaged, South Korea has invested a lot into diplomacy, and the US role is more circumscribed."

Cody Fenwick is a reporter and editor. Follow him on Twitter @codytfenwick.