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Trump Sent Kim a Birthday Note. Kim Remains Unmoved

Adviser to Kim Jong Un says North Korea feels 'deceived by the US,' nuclear talks unlikely
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2020 7:30 AM CST
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In this June 12, 2018, file photo, President Trump, right, meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Sentosa Island in Singapore.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

(Newser) – Everyone appreciates a birthday card, and Kim Jong Un is likely no exception, but that doesn't mean President Trump's well wishes to the North Korean leader have cleared the path for more nuclear negotiations between Pyongyang and the US. Per CNN, a top adviser to Kim said via state media that even though Trump sent Kim a letter for his birthday, believed to have been Jan. 8, and although Kim "has ... good personal feelings about President Trump, they are, in the true sense of the word, 'personal'"—and that future talks between the two leaders don't seem likely. In fact, Kim Kye Gwan—who's identified by the BBC as "a veteran diplomat who was involved in previous disarmament negotiations"—said that North Korea felt "deceived by the US," and that the past 18 months of back-and-forth between the two countries have been a huge waste of time.

The US also shouldn't expect North Korea to cave on any demands regarding denuclearization. "The reopening of dialogue between [North Korea] and the US may be possible only under the condition of the latter's absolute agreement on the issues raised by the former, but we know well that the US is neither ready nor able to do so," the adviser added, before also taking issue with South Korea acting as a mediator and reportedly delivering Trump's birthday message to Kim. "It is somehow presumptuous for South Korea to meddle in the personal relations between [Kim and Trump," Kim Kye Gwan said, adding that Kim had already received the message from Trump via a "special liaison channel" the two leaders use to communicate. Meanwhile, NBC News notes the US didn't receive the "Christmas gift" Kim had promised to send; there've been no new signs of aggression. (Read more North Korea stories.)

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