On June 1, Kim Yong Choi hand delivered a "large" letter from the North Korean president to President Trump.

Did the physical letter and envelope actually come from North Korea, or was a file transmitted over diplomatic channels and then printed out in the US and delivered?

  • 1
    Why wouldn't a letter be delivered? It's not that difficult to produce and send a letter and envelope of that size. The unusual size of it suggests to me that it was absolutely sent from North Korea. Trying to make an impression and all that.
    – userLTK
    Jun 4, 2018 at 9:09
  • @userLTK safety reasons, probably?
    – Erik
    Jun 4, 2018 at 10:49
  • 2
    @Erik I'm sure it was opened by specially trained agents and tested for toxins before it was given to Trump.
    – userLTK
    Jun 4, 2018 at 13:12
  • @userLTK yeah, but it's a lot cheaper and less risky to receive it digitally and print it, or just reproduce it. I think it's a good question.
    – Erik
    Jun 4, 2018 at 13:14
  • @userLTK - sure, just like I'm confident that Choi was frisked and body cavity searched before entering the Oval.
    – BobE
    Jun 4, 2018 at 13:46

1 Answer 1


"Diplomatic channels" for secure communications frequently involves putting the letter in a diplomatic bag and handing giving it to a diplomat to carry on his or her person to its destination.

It is likely that many missions also use encrypted electronic communications too.

However North Korea doesn't have diplomatic relations with the USA. There is no embassy to organise printing out a document. While it is not impossible, it is hard to imagine that Kim Yong Choi would have been printing out the letter in his hotel room before the meeting.

Instead the letter would likely have been produced in North Korea, with the President's seal attached. It would then have been placed in a diplomatic bag and carried by Kim Yong Choi in person to his meeting with the Secretary of State. There was clearly an element of showmanship in the style and size of the letter.

No doubt that the letter was vetted by the secret service before reaching the President's desk.

  • 5
    North Korea has a UN Office in New York, with, presumably, secure comms with North Korea and better-than-hotel printing capability.
    – DJohnM
    Jun 4, 2018 at 17:59

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