December 16th, 2009
09:02 AM ET
4 years 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. Fred Riek

    I suspect there will be many Republicans who will find fault with this. But strong nations (and people) do not fear communication nor facing what is ugly reality. He is the leader of North Korea and we must try whatever we can in hopes of getting them to drop their nuclear weapons program and come into the fold of civilized nations. Nothing is lost in trying and everything can be lost if we don't succeed in bringing North Korea into the 21st century and the realm of civilization and potential greater prosperity for the people of North Korea. It is easy to keep them as an enemy, much more difficult a task to turn them into a friendly nation. I applaud the efforts to do so.

    December 16, 2009 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  2. you got to be kidding me


    Do you really think this despot really will take your letter seriously?? More propoganda for him nothing for the free world. Nothing will change unless China gets pissed or shot at by the N.K. Isolate and ignore, pursue the weapon sales and the money. Someday maybe he will get shot or just die.

    December 16, 2009 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  3. JohnDD

    No doubt Obama apologized for the U.S. getting involved after North Korea invaded South Korea in 1950.

    December 16, 2009 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  4. Brian

    Good move. I hope it helps to move things closer to amicable talks but I also hope we are not afraid to apply further pressure on them if we need to.

    December 16, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  5. Doug

    How can presidency after presidency continue to deal with N. Korea especially after the secret Nuclear deals between it and Pakistan. Why are we not dealing with Pakistan and its still to this day secret KRL facility. Why are the 40 canisters of Highly enriched uranium that were missing from Pakistans stockpile not a top priority? Obama is just as corrupt as the previous presidents that turned a blind eye to the secret nuclear deals between Pakistan and all the axe's of evil states. (Iran, Libya, N. Korea)

    December 16, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  6. Rob

    Oh great... Obama is SUCH a tool.

    December 16, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  7. t22

    We joke about the foreign policy of this inept administration boiling down to writing threatening letters, but I guess its true! I'm sure North Korea is really worried now, next thing you know we may send a.....................................................


    December 16, 2009 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  8. Barbara Kauffman

    Idiot-I am surprised he didn't use this as another excuse to
    use our tax money to fly around in his new toy-Air Force One.
    He sees himself as such a statesman. The other countries ignore him. Help us.

    December 16, 2009 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  9. citizenUSA

    Is the letter saying, "if you and Iran don't get in line with the rest of the world, we'll take you out and Israel will take of Iran", or is he looking for an anser to a Suduku puzzle?

    December 16, 2009 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  10. Sniffit

    Bring it on fear mongers...let's hear why this is going to trigger armagedon. C'mon, you can fabricate something with those fancy tinfoil hats. Maybe some yammering about how he should instaed behave like a complete imbecile like Bushtard and Cheneybot did? I mean, their policies were ever so effective in light of how Iran has been ever so cowed and controlled and hasn't continued trying to make nukes at all and hasn't made any progress either. Oh, but wait, Iran completely ignoring those two buffoons and actually being further motivated to continue the quest for nukes by their behavior is a fact, so it can be ignored, right? Who needs those pesky fact things anyway? All we need is some good ol' fashioned ideology, and if we all scream it loud enough and repeat it angrily enough, eventually reality will come around to our way of thinking....

    December 16, 2009 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  11. Tre'

    It was an appology letter that blamed everything on Bush.

    December 16, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  12. CBass

    Does everyone in this admin have diarrhea of the mouth?

    December 16, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  13. MaryJo Bruce Surprise, Ariz

    Wheres the transparency?

    December 16, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  14. Perry Oswalt

    He can write?

    December 16, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  15. Ben Carlisle

    What do you suppose Obama promised Kim Jong Il if he would just leave the US alone?

    December 16, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  16. Enough

    So! Obama can write???

    December 16, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  17. A Concern citizen

    Thanks God, we finally see somebody who wants to talk with our "ennemy", Change of strategy!!!

    December 16, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  18. Jeremy

    Awesome! Let's give him another peace prize so he can continue to do nothing productive for our country.

    Glad to see penpals, the olympics, and his toy "health care reform" and more important than the 10% unemployment rate.

    December 16, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  19. Rich

    Dear Kim Jong Il: Please give up your nukes. I'm a really nice president, and harbor no ill will to you or your people. Sincerely, Barack.

    Dear President Barack: HAHAHAHAHAHA! Sincerely, Supreme Leader Kim Jong Il.

    The North Korean regime is built entirely on fear of the US. They define themselves by opposing us. Any normalization of relations would threaten their grip on power, hence they have no desire to play nice.

    December 16, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  20. George Johnson

    This is truly unfortunate. It was a very naive act.

    December 16, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  21. Willi12345

    Obama offered to surrender to the N. Koreans. As part of the surrender agreement, the North Koreans will be given Alaska and Hillary Clinton.

    December 16, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  22. a real American

    I wonder how many times he apologized to Jong Il?

    I find it very annoying that our president, along with all the liberal groupies who frequent sites such as this one, think it's such a wonderful idea to talk openly with murderous dictators while simultaneously refusing to cooperate with Fox News.

    I guess those darn conservative Americans are the real problem in this world, not some silly little dictator who owns a few nukes, huh?

    December 16, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  23. Beyond Absurd

    What's next, crank calls in the middle of the night? The UN and world community need to seal off North Korea until its people get rid of their strange little dictator.

    December 16, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  24. Carlos

    Dear Comrade, tell me again how did you get complete control?

    December 16, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  25. John Kaufman, Oceanside, CA

    Does Obama know anything about our past history with North Korea?
    Does Obama know anything about the Korean culture?
    Does Obama know anything about North Korea's stand on negotiating with the USA in the past?
    Does Obama know anything about past incidents in territorial waters and along the DMZ with our forces, and the South Korean forces? Oh what was the name of that ship?

    As the character in Forest Gump says, stupid is as stupid does? Your president is like Nero of Rome, he plays his fiddle while America burns, and the fires get stronger each day. My suggestion is to look up at what Oklahoma has reciently done and follow suit ASAP! If you don't know look it up, if not get burned.

    December 16, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
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