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U.S. President Donald Trump speaks in the Oval Office at the White House on Thursday.NICHOLAS KAMM/Getty Images

By turns mournful, boastful and passive-aggressive, U.S. President Donald Trump’s letter to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un cancelling their summit next month is raising as many eyebrows as the cancellation decision itself.

The 260-word missive is unmistakably in Mr. Trump’s voice. It employs many of his favourite adjectives: tremendous, massive, beautiful and, of course, sad. And its tone is as mercurial as the President’s moods.

Read more: Trump calls off meeting with North Korea’s Kim, warns U.S. military ready

Full text: Read Trump’s letter to North Korea’s Kim cancelling the summit

“Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting,” Mr. Trump writes in the first paragraph. Two sentences later, he suddenly warns Mr. Kim that America’s nuclear weapons “are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used.”

Later, he thanks Mr. Kim for the “beautiful gesture” of releasing American hostages, laments that “this missed opportunity is a truly sad moment” and leaves the door open to a future meeting: “If you change your mind having to do with this most important summit, please do not hesitate to call me or write.”

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The letter from President Donald Trump addressed to North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un on Thursday.THE WHITE HOUSE/The New York Times News Service

To Charles Armstrong, a Columbia University history professor, the tone “sounded like someone trying to break up with a boyfriend or girlfriend: It’s not me, it’s you.”

Andrea Berger, an expert on North Korea’s weapons program at Middlebury Institute of International Studies, said the letter’s language is “cringe-worthy.”

Opinion: Why the world is better off without a Trump-Kim Summit

“It also struck me as confused: He wants to have a meeting but he doesn’t want to have a meeting,” she said. “And he clearly feels like we’re still in a game of whose nuclear button is bigger; he put that in completely unnecessarily.”

On Thursday afternoon, an administration official told a White House briefing that Mr. Trump dictated every word of the letter himself – not that anyone doubted it.

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