SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA – For more than two years, U.S. President Donald Trump has touted his close relationship and frequent personal correspondence with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. A new book may reveal just how close the relationship really is.
For his new book, entitled Rage, veteran political journalist Bob Woodward has obtained 25 personal letters exchanged between Trump and Kim, according to an official description of the book posted late Wednesday on Amazon.
It is not clear how much content from the Trump-Kim letters will be published in Woodward’s book, which is set to be released September 15. But the description indicates at least some of the correspondence will be included.
“Kim describes the bond between the two leaders as out of a ‘fantasy film,’ as the two leaders engage in an extraordinary diplomatic minuet,” the Amazon description said.
Even as U.S.-North Korea nuclear talks broke down, Trump has frequently insisted he continues to enjoy a “great relationship” with Kim and that the two often exchange personal letters. At one point, Trump said he and Kim “fell in love.”
The United States and North Korea have revealed at least 10 instances of personal correspondence between Trump and Kim. But until now, it had not been reported that the two men exchanged at least 25 letters.
Here’s a look at the known correspondence between the two men:
May 25, 2018: Days ahead of their first meeting in Singapore, Trump tweets out a letter he sent to Kim canceling the summit. The cancellation came after a senior North Korean official called U.S. Vice President Mike Pence a “political dummy.”
June 2, 2018: After Trump changed course and agreed to hold the summit, senior North Korean leader Kim Yong Chol meets Trump at the White House, handing him an oversized envelope containing a letter from Kim. The contents of the letter remain unknown.
June 12, 2018: Trump and Kim meet in Singapore, where they sign a brief statement agreeing to “work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”
July 23, 2018: A month after their Singapore meeting, Trump tweets out a letter from Kim hailing “epochal progress” achieved in talks.
August 2, 2018: In a tweet, Trump thanks Kim for sending another “nice letter,” while noting North Korea has begun the process of returning the remains of U.S. soldiers who fought in the 1950s Korean War.
February 27-28, 2019: Trump and Kim meet for a second time in Hanoi, Vietnam. But Trump walks away after rejecting Kim’s offer to dismantle some of his nuclear facilities in exchange for sanctions relief.
June 11, 2019: Trump says he received another “beautiful,” “very personal” and “very warm” letter from Kim.
June 23, 2019: North Korea’s state news agency says Kim received a letter from Trump. The report promises Kim will “seriously contemplate” its “excellent content,” but does not elaborate.
June 30, 2019: Trump and Kim meet briefly at the de-militarized zone separating the two Koreas. The impromptu meeting comes a day after Trump suggested in a tweet that the two meet while Trump was visiting neighboring South Korea.
August 10, 2019: Trump says Kim wrote him a letter apologizing for recent short-range missile tests. He also said Kim would like to meet and start negotiations as soon as the joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises finish.
October 5, 2019: U.S. and North Korean negotiators hold working-level talks in Stockholm, Sweden, but the North storms out just hours after the meetings began, saying they were “greatly disappointed” with what they described as U.S. inflexibility.
January 10, 2020: Trump delivers a happy birthday message to Kim, who turned 36 years old. The letter was reportedly delivered by South Korean officials, though Pyongyang later says it received the message directly.
March 22, 2020: North Korean state media say Trump wrote Kim to offer “anti-epidemic” help, amid coronavirus worries. Trump also said he “was impressed by the efforts made by the Chairman to defend his people,” the North says.
April 18, 2020: Trump says he recently received another “nice note” from Kim, but does not elaborate.
April 19, 2020: North Korea’s foreign ministry refutes Trump’s claim that Kim had sent him a “nice note.”