Trump mixes formality with personal message

US President Donald Trump's personally dictated letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un may have been abruptly released with no notice to US allies. Possibly unprecedented for an American president - though not entirely for Mr Trump - it also contained a thinly veiled but very firm threat of nuclear war with its reference to the "massive and powerful" nuclear capability of the United States.

Yet, it also tried to give credit to Mr Kim, in the personal and sometimes exaggerated flourishes that Mr Trump is well known for. He described Mr Kim's release of three jailed Americans as a "beautiful gesture", for instance.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 26, 2018, with the headline 'Trump mixes formality with personal message'. Print Edition | Subscribe