[Breaking] N. Korean leader sends letter to Moon

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said he wants to hold more summits with South Korea's Moon Jae-in next year to achieve the goal of denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, Moon's office said on Sunday (Dec 30).

-North Korea talks. The U.S. State Department has not commented on the report of Kim's message.

Kim's "letter-like" message to Trump was conveyed on Friday through an unspecified channel, the paper announced, refering to an anonymous discretionary source.

For Kim, working with South Korea has been a lot more productive than working with the US.

Kim and Moon met three times in 2018 and have made a series of goodwill gestures as well as vowing to resume economic cooperation when possible.

The spokesman said the office summarized Kim's two-page letter and paraphrased it in different words and what he said wasn't a direct quote from the North's leader as it is a violation of diplomatic custom. In his meetings with Moon and Trump, Kim signed on to vague statements calling for a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula without describing when or how it would occur.

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Kim was sorry his plan to visit Seoul this year did not take place as agreed at their third summit in Pyongyang in September, expressing his "strong resolve" to make it happen in the future while monitoring the situation, Moon's office said.

"The New Year's Day speech will likely address implementation of peace and prosperity, the denuclearization issue and maintaining the inter-Korean relations", South Korean Unification Ministry spokesman Baik Tae Hyun told a briefing.

They are also yet to reschedule a meeting between U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol after an abrupt cancellation in November.

In his letter, Kim said his landmark 2018 meetings with Moon - one in Pyongyang, and two at the truce village of Panmunjom, on the border between North and South - resulted in "practical and bold measures" to overcome long-standing confrontation and remove fears of war from the peninsula, according to Moon's spokesman.

Kim and Trump are trying to arrange a second summit in early 2019. The moves - an about-face from the weapons tests and threats of the previous year - were telegraphed in Kim's previous New Year's speech, in which he offered to discuss participation in the Winter Olympics. The two sides have clashed over the pace and sequence of talks, with North Korea demanding relief from worldwide sanctions and the USA seeking more steps toward disarmament.

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