South Korea’s national security adviser Chung Eui-yong confirmed to reporters at Incheon International Airport on Friday that Trump requested the birthday greeting be sent to Kim, the outlet reported. The North Korean leader’s birthday was Wednesday.
“He had a well-wishing message that he wanted South Korean President Moon Jae-in to deliver to Chairman Kim Jong Un,” the adviser said.
Chung and his equivalent adviser in Japan, Shigeru Kitamura, met with Trump in Washington on Wednesday. Chung confirmed that South Korean officials delivered Trump’s message to North Korea through “appropriate measures,” although he did not share the specific birthday message.
The North Korean leader sent Trump a birthday message in June, Bloomberg reported.
Tensions spiked between the U.S. and North Korea over the holiday season after a statement carried by North Korean state media warned that the U.S. would receive a “Christmas gift.”
The warning was taken seriously by U.S. military officials after Pyongyang gave the U.S. a year-end deadline to adjust its denuclearization efforts before North Korea would take a “new path.” There was no sign of the “gift” before the end of the year in 2019.
Nuclear talks between U.S. and North Korean officials broke down earlier in 2019 after a summit between Trump and Kim ended abruptly.