Noem does not say whether she met Kim Jong Un amid criticism over book

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) did not say whether she met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un when responding to the inaccuracies reported in her new book.

Noem has been facing mounting criticism over her forthcoming book, set to be released this week, and her inclusion of a story where she details shooting and killing a dog and a goat on her property about 20 years ago. In recent days, she has faced additional scrutiny after writing in her book that she had met Kim while serving in Congress on the House Armed Services Committee.

The Dakota Scout reported last week that a meeting between Noem and Kim would likely not have been possible, citing interviews with congressional staffers and North Korea analysts. While Noem had visited China as part of her time on the committee in 2014, there were no reports of Kim leaving North Korea until 2018, when Noem was campaigning for governor, according to the outlet.

Noem’s office later said in a statement to The Hill that Kim “was included in a list of world leaders and shouldn’t have been.”

Host Margaret Brennan pressed Noem on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on whether she had actually met Kim and how that story was included in her book, “No Going Back: The Truth on What’s Wrong with Politics and How We Move America Forward.”

“You know, as soon as this was brought to my attention, I certainly made some changes and looked at this passage, and I’ve met with many, many world leaders. I’ve traveled around the world. As soon as it was brought to my attention, we went forward and have made some edits,” Noem replied.

Brennan then asked again if she met Kim, but Noem did not provide a clear answer.

“I’ve met with many, many world leaders, many world leaders. I’ve traveled around the world. I think I’ve talked extensively in this book about my time serving in Congress, my time as governor, before governor, some of the travels that I’ve had. I’m not going to talk about my specific meetings with world leaders, so I’m just not going to do that,” she said.

“This anecdote shouldn’t have been in the book, and as soon as it was brought to my attention, I made sure that that was adjusted,” she added.

The book reportedly described Noem’s meeting with Kim during her travels.

“I remember when I met with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. I’m sure he underestimated me, having no clue about my experience staring down little tyrants (I’d been a children’s pastor, after all),” she reportedly wrote in the book.

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