It was reported Friday that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in North Korea this week with a special gift for North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Un from President Donald Trump: a CD that included Elton John’s hit-song “Rocket Man.”
The alleged gift came after the song became a point of discussion for Trump and Kim during their summit in Singapore last month. Trump has repeatedly referred to Kim as “Rocket Man” on social media and was reportedly surprised when Kim admitted he had never heard the 1972 hit song.
What did the State Department say?
Despite the reports, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told NBC News on Saturday that Pompeo did not deliver a CD from Trump with John’s song on it. Instead, she said Pompeo only delivered a personal letter from Trump for Kim.
Nauert’s confirmation comes after Pompeo was rather coy about the alleged gift when reporters asked him about it upon arriving to North Korea on Friday. At the time, Pompeo neither confirmed nor denied widespread reports about the alleged gift.
The report originated from South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper, which cited a Washington source. The report said Trump signed the CD and instructed Pompeo to deliver it with the personal letter.
North Korea lashed out at the U.S. following Pompeo’s departure from Pyongyang on Saturday. The country said its meeting with the U.S. delegation was “regrettable” and accused the U.S. of trying to strong-arm the Kim regime into complete denuclearization without offering anything in return.
Meanwhile, Pompeo lauded the discussions as “productive,” yet stressed more work lays ahead before the world witnesses the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.