13:45 GMT +319 January 2020
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    South Korean National Security Adviser Chung Eui-Yong has told reporters that he was given a birthday message to be delivered to North Korea. According to the adviser, it was passed to Pyongyang on Thursday.

    North Korea has received Donald Trump's birthday congratulations for the country's leader Kim Jong-un, state news agency KCNA said on Saturday in a statement published on its website.

    Kim's birthday is believed to be on 8 January, although the year of his birth remains disputed.

    The agency noted that despite the warm ties established by the two politicians and Kim's personal liking for the US president, a return to the negotiating table is currently out of the question.

    "Even if [US President Donald] Trump and [North Korean leader] Kim Jong-un are personally in good relations, those are mere 'personal' emotions, and North Korea will no longer be deceiving itself by them and lose time", Kim Kye Gwan, an adviser to the North Korean Foreign Ministry, said.

    KCNA wrote that Pyongyang refuses to negotiate denuclearisation in exchange for sanctions relief.

    "There will be no more talks on lifting UN sanctions partially in exchange for all of North Korea's major nuclear facilities in order to ease our peaceful republic's suffering at least to some extent. If the US wants to resume dialogue, it must comply with all our demands", Kim was quoted as saying by North Korea's sate-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

    The traditionally-tense relations between the United States and North Korea experienced a thaw in 2018 after President Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and the two heads of state agreed to a moratorium on nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests and a desire to pursue denuclearisation.

    However, relations became slightly strained by recent pledges by Pyongyang to relaunch missile tests and to send a menacing “Christmas gift” to the United States, even though North Korea did not take any steps on 25 December or later on.

    Despite apparent tensions between the US and North Korea, President Trump said he believes that Kim Jong-un will abide by his commitments to denuclearisation.

    Tags:
    denuclearization, North Korea, Trump, Kim Jong-un
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