Former US President Donald Trump's friendship with Supreme Leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un has made headlines on many an occasion. And while they may at first glance have very little in common, the two have met on multiple occasions and exchanged many letters. Indeed when news of Kim's alleged death began circulating, Trump rather cryptically said that while he had a "very good idea" about the other leader's health, he could not talk about it.
He wrote me "beautiful letters", Trump revealed during a rally in 2018. “And then we fell in love — OK? No really. He wrote me beautiful letters and they’re great letters. We fell in love,” Trump told the crowd.
The two had a rocky start to their relationship with a series of playground slurs and bizarre insults marking their initial exchanges. He called the Korean leader "rocket man" and Kim branded him a "mentally deranged US dotard". But as the days and months passed, the two indulged in what Bob Woodward's new book Rage calls a "diplomatic courtship".
From reminiscing about their first meeting to planning a future course of action, the book quotes excerpts from the letter that might not have been out of place in a romantic tale. "Let's go to a movie together. Let's go play a round of golf," one excerpt quotes Trump as saying.
Over the years, much has been made of their budding 'bromance' and many remain fascinated by the unique relationship. But the unusual friendship went beyond mere letters.
According to a recent report, President Trump had once offered his North Korean counterpart a lift home on Air Force One. This would have meant that the North Korean leader and possibly some of his team members would have travelled in the US President's personal aircraft. Not only that, there would have been the additional security concern that came with the US President and the official plane entering North Korean airspace.
"The president knew that Kim had arrived on a multi-day train ride through China into Hanoi and the president said: 'I can get you home in two hours if you want.' Kim declined," Matthew Pottinger, the top Asia expert on Trump's National Security Council told BBC.
Incidentally, Trump is the only US President in recent history to have even briefly entered North Korea.