December 16th, 2009
09:02 AM ET
8 months ago

Obama wrote letter to N. Korean leader, official says

President Barack Obama wrote a personal letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.
President Barack Obama wrote a personal letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.

Washington (CNN) –  President Barack Obama wrote a personal letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong Il that a U.S. envoy delivered, a senior U.S. official said.

Stephen Bosworth, U.S. special envoy for North Korea, delivered the letter to the North Korean leader during a three-day visit to North Korea last week, the official said.

The official declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the issue.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (68 Responses)
  1. Tram

    Maybe, just maybe, since we have a good president now, the other world leaders will at least open a dialogue. That's the first step to avoiding a nuclear war on any country in any continent.

    December 16, 2009 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  2. Dr. X

    what is the point of this article?
    maybe it was a Christmas Card.

    December 16, 2009 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  3. demmie

    I marvel at this mans diplomacy...

    *rollseyes*

    December 16, 2009 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  4. phoenix86

    I wonder if he wrote a letter to Iran as well, as they just tested an upgraded long range missle.

    Obama should sign all his letters as "Chump in Chief".

    Weakness is NOT nobility, it is just dangerous.

    December 16, 2009 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  5. Cody

    Ok??? Not even a hint about what the letter MIGHT have been about?

    December 16, 2009 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  6. this black liberal hates Obama

    I guess Obama wants to make piece with a known terrorists.

    Now why doesn't that surprise me?

    Once a terrorists (Obama), always a terrorists!

    December 16, 2009 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  7. Michele

    Wow. A leader who leads through communication, not bombs. That's refreshing.

    December 16, 2009 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  8. proud conservative

    Another apology to a rogue dictator no doubt! He is Jimmy Carter times ten!! WHAT A DISASTER

    December 16, 2009 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  9. Marshall

    Wow, a letter. Did his also threaten him with a time out?

    December 16, 2009 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  10. Belle2

    This is not much of a story unless we know what he wrote!

    December 16, 2009 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  11. chris l

    WHEW, Thank God we finally got tough and wrote one of Obamas "Stern Letters" to North Korea. Now that the North Korea issue is solved maybe ODUMBO could write a magical letter to Iran and stop there nuclear program. MMMMMM MMMMMM MMMMM BARRACK HUSSEIN OBAMA MMMM MMMM MMM

    December 16, 2009 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  12. Gregory, Scottsdale, AZ

    Excellent, Obama, Excellent ~ Sir. Do be like Bush and strong arm this guy, take the adult aproach and talk to this man. We can work it out. Hell we need to work it out as we have to many issues on our own plate. Don't this guy take your eye off the ball.....

    December 16, 2009 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  13. Gregory, Scottsdale, AZ

    Excellent, Obama, Excellent ~ Sir. Don't be like Bush and strong arm this guy, take the adult aproach and talk to this man. We can work it out. Hell we need to work it out as we have to many issues on our own plate. Don't let this guy take your eye off the ball.....

    December 16, 2009 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  14. jack

    Well c'mon folks, where are the snippy comments about how he's cow-towwing to our enemies for writing a letter to another world leader.

    C'mon all you people who claim that when he shows respect to other world leaders it's really a sign of weakness.

    C'mon... have at it...

    December 16, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  15. Luke Ferrin

    Finally we have a president who has open dialogue with the leaders of all countries whether friend of foe.

    December 16, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  16. Gary

    I realize that a lot of people will be critical of the President communicating like this with North Korea but if it'll help resolve the issues surrounding the Korean peninsula, by all means, let's give it a try! I think Mikey Steele and his daddy Rush Limbaugh will be harsh on this without even knowing what was said.

    December 16, 2009 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  17. Right Leaning Independent

    I wonder at what point in his presidency that Obama will give up his talking and letter writing to the worlds dictators?? This President is neither thoughtful or intelligent as many of the liberals on here will make him out to be. He is naive and completely out of his league and the world dictators know it!

    December 16, 2009 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  18. TJ from Allentown

    While Iran is parilously close to building a nuclear weapon Obama continues to ask them unclinch their fist. When are is this Whitehouse going to realize that while the Obama Administration may be a peaceful, our enemies simply are currently not and we are running out of precious time?

    How many times does it take N Korea and Iran to snub the U.S.'s efforts for peaceful deconstruction of their nuclear programs before Obama can accept that they simply have no interest in disarming?

    This is getting supremely frustrating to watch. Yes, Obama is popular in the world, but popular doesn't translate into credibility. I fear our president has lost much international credibility as the 'axis of evil' continues to wipe their feet on his foreign policy at every turn.

    December 16, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  19. aneanderthal

    I am sure he apologized for the United States having overreacted when North Korea attacked the south in 1952 and for the US having killed all of the North Korean agressors, and for stationing troops along the DMZ for all of those years, and for demanding all of our prisoners back and for demanding that we look for MIA's. That was all past administrations. The current administration expressed its admiration of the North Korean style and is using North Korea as a model for what they are trying to do this country. Obama one and done.

    December 16, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  20. ObamaWillPayMyBills

    Come on, you know the teleprompter wrote the letter.

    December 16, 2009 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  21. J teague

    A letter is a good start, but a face to face visit is what is needed. During the campaign for President, now President Obama said that he would site down and talk to leaders of countries that America had conflict with. But almost one year into his Presidency, I have not seen him forfill this campaign promist, by having a face to face meeting with any foreign leader that America has a conflict with. It is time to solve problems not with the miltary, but with face to face meetings with leaders of other countries. I would like to our President sitting down and talking to the President of Iran, the President of North Korean, the President of Cuba, the President of Venezuela. Difference can be resolved by getting to know these leaders face to face and progress can be achieve in solving the difference that America has with them. But we must show strong leadership, and think out of the traditional box, with this new and bold approach. I hope that America's President will take this bold step.

    December 16, 2009 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  22. GKT

    I applaud the President for attempting to communicate with leaders of countries even as we recognize them as adversaries. It is always much better to communicate with them than to wall them off and isolate them with labels. Having said this, I can't wait to see what the "conservatives" come up with to malign this attempt.

    December 16, 2009 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  23. George Mcleod

    You must assert yourself very clearly and take it from there .

    December 16, 2009 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  24. Paul from Phoenix

    Interesting. I wonder if the North Koreans will laugh at him the way Iran did. Oh wait, North Korea already launched missles only a day after Obama's threatening speaches. What a joke.

    December 16, 2009 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  25. US citizen

    This guy is so weak he wouldn't survive as junior executive in the US or global business market. Well unless he can bring along his bullet proof vest provided by CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC and CBS. I should have voted for McCain, at least he wouldn't have bent over to all our enemies and tried to turn us into socialist country.

    December 16, 2009 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
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