Kristi Noem’s New Book Falsely Says She Met Kim Jong-un

The new book by Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota, a biography that will be released on Tuesday, will be corrected to remove a false anecdote about her meeting Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, a spokesman for Ms. Noem said on Friday.

Ms. Noem, who has been widely talked about as a potential running mate for former President Donald J. Trump, has already spent the last week defending a grisly excerpt from the book in which she describes killing a family dog.

Ms. Noem’s new book also includes an error about when a phone call with Nikki Haley took place. That will be corrected in future editions of the book, too, said Ian Fury, the chief of communications for Ms. Noem.

“It was brought to our attention that the upcoming book ‘No Going Back’ has two small errors,” Mr. Fury said. “This has been communicated to the ghostwriter and editor. Kim Jong-un was included in a list of world leaders and shouldn’t have been.”

In the book, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times ahead of its official publication on May 7, Ms. Noem mentions the meeting with Mr. Kim when writing about her eight years in Congress as South Dakota’s sole representative, in a passage about her role as a member of the House Armed Services Committee.

“I had the chance to travel to many countries to meet with world leaders — some who wanted our help, and some who didn’t,” Ms. Noem writes. “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). Dealing with foreign leaders takes resolve, preparation, and determination.”

Mr. Fury did not respond to a question about whom Ms. Noem could have been referring to, if not Mr. Kim.

The conversation that Ms. Noem describes having with Ms. Haley, the former South Carolina governor who dropped out of the Republican presidential primary in March, suggests that Ms. Haley had threatened her because they were both prominent Republican women.

Ms. Noem describes the call as starting with Ms. Haley offering to mentor her during her first term as governor of South Dakota, but then saying: “I’ve heard many good things about you. But when I do hear bad things, I will make sure that you know. I’ve enjoyed talking to you. We will visit soon. Goodbye.”

Ms. Noem then recounts the conversation with her secretary, writing that she said: “I’m pretty sure I was just threatened by Nikki Haley. It was clear that she wanted me to know that there was only room for one Republican woman in the spotlight. It was weird.”

Chaney Denton, a spokeswoman for Ms. Haley, said Ms. Noem’s story was inaccurate.

“Nikki has long called and written notes supporting other women when they go through challenging times,” Ms. Denton said in a statement. “She called Governor Noem in 2020 to encourage her when she was criticized for keeping her state open during Covid. How she would twist that into a threat is just plain weird.”

Future editions of the book will correct the timeline, clarifying that Ms. Noem spoke with Nikki Haley in 2020 and met with her in 2021. Mr. Fury did not specify other changes to the anecdote, in which Ms. Noem writes that the implication she got from the call was that “I’m the alpha female here, and you should know your place.” She also wrote of Ms. Haley: “I actually felt a little sad for her.”

The memoir, seemingly intended to boost Ms. Noem’s profile as Mr. Trump gets closer to picking a running mate, seeks to play up her bona fides as a Trump loyalist.

She boasts of defending Mr. Trump in a speech the day after the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, “regardless of the fact that what unfolded on January 6 was undeniably ugly.”

But much of the attention has so far centered on her shooting of the dog, Cricket, to her daughter’s distress. Ms. Noem appeared on the Fox News program hosted by Sean Hannity on Wednesday to defend her conduct, saying that she included the story in the book to illustrate the “tough, challenging decisions that I’ve had to make throughout my life.”

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