President Obama sent a personal letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong II that was delivered by an envoy, according to media reports.
The letter was allegedly delivered when Stephen Bosworth, U.S. special envoy for North Korea, paid a visit to the country in an effort to break an impasse in dialogue. During the trip he conveyed the administration’s view that "complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is [fundamental] to improving our relations."
However, the White House has refused to reveal the contents of the letter, prompting critics to accuse the administration of a lack of transparency. Fox News’ Sean Hannity even went as far as calling North Korea’s dictator the president’s "pen pal."
On taking office in January, Obama expressed a willingness to engage with the communist regime. However, since the last six-party talks—involving the U.S., UN, Russia, China, Japan and South Korea—in December 2008, North Korea’s government has pulled out of the process and tested a second nuclear device.
There is also a widespread belief that the regime is preparing to reopen the controversial uranium-enrichment facility at Yongbyon.