Trump Sent Kim Jong Un a Birthday Greeting, South Korea Says


(Bloomberg) -- U.S. President Donald Trump asked South Korea to deliver a birthday message to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, in the latest exchange of personal greetings between the two leaders whose countries have been adversaries for decades.

South Korea’s National Security Adviser Chung Eui-yong told reporters at Incheon International Airport on Friday that Trump made the request to send greetings to Kim, whose birthday was on Wednesday. “He had a well-wishing message that he wanted South Korean President Moon Jae-in to deliver to Chairman Kim Jong Un,” he said.

Chung and his Japanese counterpart Shigeru Kitamura briefly met Trump in Washington on Wednesday, according to the White House. Chung said South Korean officials then delivered Trump’s message to North Korean authorities through “appropriate measures,” without giving further details on the birthday message.

After trading insults and threats of nuclear strikes in 2017, Kim and Trump have reached a bonhomie since they first met in Singapore in June 2018, with Trump saying the two “fell in love.” Kim has sent personal correspondence to Trump, including a letter in June last year where he wished the U.S. president a happy birthday.

While the two have kept the appearance of good personal ties, Kim started 2020 by declaring he was no longer bound by his pledge to halt major missile tests. The North Korean leader said he would soon debut a “new strategic weapon,” adding to Trump’s foreign policy concerns in a politically charged election year.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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