Asia Pacific / Politics

Trump says he still has 'Rocket Man' CD — and another mystery gift — for North Korea's Kim

by Jesse Johnson

Staff Writer

U.S. President Donald Trump confirmed Tuesday that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo didn’t deliver the president’s gift of an Elton John CD featuring the hit song “Rocket Man” to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un last week, but said he has another present for him.

“They didn’t give it,” Trump said. “I have it for him. They didn’t give it. But it will be given at a different — I actually do have a little gift for him, but you’ll find out what that gift is when I give it.”

Trump did not offer more details as to what the other mystery gift might be.

Pompeo, who traveled to Pyongyang last week for talks with top North Korean officials, did not meet with Kim. The White House had said earlier that Pompeo would meet with him on his third visit to the North Korean capital, but the encounter did not materialize.

The State Department had also said Saturday that Pompeo did not give Kim a copy signed by the president of the British singer’s “Honky Chateau” album, which includes the song, despite reports in South Korean media.

Last year, as tensions soared between the two nuclear-armed countries, Trump derisively referred to Kim as “Little Rocket Man” amid a spate of North Korean missile tests, including of long-range weapons capable of striking much of the United States.

Pompeo’s trip to Pyongyang from Friday to Saturday was intended to try to flesh out a bare-bones agreement on denuclearization made at last month’s landmark Trump-Kim summit in Singapore.

Pompeo insisted the talks were making progress but as soon as he left, the North’s Foreign Ministry berated him over his “gangster-like” demands and for offering no constructive proposals.

Trump, however, tweeted Monday that he has “confidence” that Kim will “honor” the denuclearization “contract” they signed — which was actually a joint statement — in Singapore.