Trump’s birthday message not enough to resume negotiations, North Korea says

A North Korean official on Saturday said that the U.S. and South Korea are dreaming if they think that U.S. President Donald Trump’s sending a birthday message would get leader Kim Jong Un back to the negotiating table.

North Korean Foreign Ministry adviser Kim Kye Gwan repeated the North’s deep frustrations over stalled nuclear negotiations with the Trump administration and stressed that the country will never fully deal away its nuclear capabilities for ending U.S.-led sanctions despite its economic difficulties.

He was responding to comments by South Korean presidential national security director Chung Eui-yong who, after returning from a visit to the United States on Friday, said that Seoul had conveyed Trump’s birthday greetings to Kim. His birthday is believed to be Jan. 8.

Chung told reporters that Trump during their meeting at the White House this week had asked Seoul to deliver the message to Pyongyang, which it did through “proper means” on Thursday.

But Kim Kye Gwan said that the North had already received a similar letter by Trump directly from the Americans, and ridiculed Seoul saying it was clinging to its role as a mediator between Washington and Pyongyang.

“They seem not to know that there is a special liaison channel between the top leaders of the DPRK and the U.S.,” Kim Kye Gwan said about the South, referring to North Korea by its formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

He said it was “presumptuous” for South Korea to meddle in the personal relationship between the North Korean and U.S. leaders.

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