01/10/2020, 16.00
KOREA - USA
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Trump's message to Pyongyang: 'Happy birthday Kim'

Kim is believed to have been born on January 8, although the regime never confirmed the date.  According to the US, the North Korean leader has turned 36.  South Korea expresses respect and gratitude to the White House for the leadership of the US president.   "Close coordination" confirmed between the two countries.

 

Seoul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, has sent a message to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to wish him a happy birthday.  This was revealed today by Chung Eui-yong, director of the South Korean National Security Bureau. Chung met Trump in the White House this week during a three-day visit to Washington.  Returning to Seoul, the senior official told reporters that the US president had said some congratulatory words to Kim on his birthday and asked South Korean President Moon Jae-in to deliver the message.

Kim is believed to have been born on January 8, although the regime never confirmed the date.  The United States government claims that the dictator's year of birth was 1984 and he turned 36 two days ago.  "As far as I know, the [greeting] message was sent to North Korea appropriately yesterday," said Chung at Incheon International Airport.  These statements suggest that the two Koreas opened a communication channel, most likely through the village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) or a North Korean diplomatic mission in New York.

Chung also said he expressed Moon's respect and gratitude for Trump's leadership in the White House in connection with joint efforts to resolve the Korean issue.  The day before yesterday, the director of the National Security Bureau also met with US special envoy for North Korea, Stephen Biegun.  Morgan Ortagus, a spokesman for the US State  Department, said that close coordination was "reiterated" between the two countries in the talks.

The two also discussed recent tensions in the Middle East and their collaboration on global security issues.  South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha will meet American Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in California next week with his Japanese counterpart Toshimitsu Motegi.  Relations between North Korea, South and Japan will be high on the agenda.  On January 7, South Korean President Moon Jae-in proposed that the two Koreas make concerted efforts so that Kim Jong-un can visit the country, as agreed in September 2018.

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