North Korea’s Kim sent message to Trump on nuclear talks

South Korean President Moon Jae-in makes a toast with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a luncheon at Samjiyon Guesthouse in Ryanggang province North Korea in September 2018

Despite these setbacks, another summit between Mr Trump and Mr Kim could happen in 2019.

The North Korean leader called on South Korea to halt joint military exercises with the USA, placing new pressure on the alliance.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in hailed Sunday the ratified commitment of DPRK leader Kim Jong-un to the denuclearization of the peninsula in thanking him for his New Year " s letter.

Trump on December 25 tweeted a photo of what he called a Christmas Eve briefing with his team to work on North Korea, saying: "Progress being made".

'There will still be a lot of difficulties ahead, ' Moon said in his message. With worldwide sanctions squeezing the country's trade flow and cash supply, any clues about the North Korean economy or Kim's growth strategies will be closely examined.

Chairman Kim also expressed his intentions to meet President Moon frequently again in 2019 to advance discussions on the Korean Peninsula's peace and prosperity and discuss issues on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, ' the spokesman said.

The U.S. military, Japan Self-Defense Forces and South Korean military are constantly monitoring North Korea for radio waves.

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According to Reuters, Kim sent a letter to Moon on Sunday to commemorate the dramatic detente they engineered this year, including three summits, after years of confrontation marked by a series of the North's nuclear and missile tests.

The stalled negotiations had an impact on inter-Korean ties, including Kim's unrealised plan to visit Seoul this year as agreed at their summit in Pyongyang in September.

Moon's tweet included photos of the top part of the letter, which began with: "Dear your excellency President Moon Jae-in".

Kim's New Year address provides a rare public appearance for the young leader and is closely watched by neighboring countries as it is seen setting the tone for his domestic and foreign policies.

He promised to make the trip after Mr Moon visited Pyongyang in September.

Moon Jae-in, in a message posted on Facebook, stressed Kim's willingness to comply with the South Korean and USA agreements on the issue, but acknowledged that many obstacles remain to be overcome.

Post-summit nuclear talks between Washington and Pyongyang quickly settled into a stalemate as the countries struggled between the sequencing of the North's disarmament and the removal of USA -led worldwide sanctions against the North.

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