Saturday’s Yomiuri and Sankei reported from Seoul that according to a senior Blue House official who met with President Trump briefly at the White House on Wednesday, the President asked him to give North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a letter congratulating him on his birthday, which is Jan. 8. The letter was reportedly delivered to the DPRK via the South Korean government. The papers speculated that the U.S. leader conveyed in the letter his desire to maintain positive relations with Chairman Kim and urged him not to stage provocations.
In a follow-up development, all Sunday papers reported that a senior North Korean official dismissed South Korea’s account of the letter by saying President Trump sent it to Chairman Kim directly. The DPRK official reportedly added that Pyongyang has no plans to resume dialogue with Washington unless the U.S. relaxes its sanctions on the Kim regime.