WASHINGTON — President Trump told reporters while leaving the White House this morning to fly to Brussels for the NATO summit that he does have a special gift for North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, but it hasn’t been gifted yet.
South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo reported last week that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo brought two gifts when he met with North Korean officials in Pyongyang: a letter to Kim from Trump, and an Elton John CD with the song “Rocket Man” signed by Trump.
“Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at U.N. If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won’t be around much longer!” Trump tweeted last September.
North Korea did not take kindly to the content of Pompeo’s visit, which covered what the U.S. definition of denuclearization is and what would be needed for sanctions relief. “We had anticipated the U.S. side would come with a constructive idea, thinking we would take something in return,” a foreign ministry official said in a statement. “The U.S. is fatally mistaken if it went to the extent of regarding that [North Korea] would be compelled to accept, out of its patience, demands reflecting its gangster-like mindset.”
Kim did not meet with the secretary of State.
Pompeo characterized the talks as progressive, asserting that North Korea did not “push back” on denuclearization. “If those requests were gangster-like, the world is a gangster, because there was a unanimous decision at the UN Security Council about what needs to be achieved,” he told reporters.
This morning, Trump was asked if the “Rocket Man” report was true.
“They didn’t give it. I have it for him. They didn’t give it, but it will be given at a certain period,” Trump replied. “I actually do — I actually do have a little gift for him, but you’ll find out what that gift is when I give it.”
Trump was also asked if Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is meeting with Trump in Helsinki on Monday, is a friend or a foe.
“I really can’t say right now. As far as I’m concerned, a competitor — a competitor. I think that getting along with Russia, getting along with China, getting along with others, it’s a good thing, not a bad thing. I’ve said that many times, for many years,” the president responded. “So we’ll see. We’re meeting with Vladimir Putin on Monday. We’ll see how that goes.”