Jan. 10 (UPI) -- U.S. President Donald Trump requested the South Korean government deliver a message wishing North Korea's Kim Jong Un a "happy birthday," according to President Moon Jae-in's national security adviser.
Chung Eui-yong, who recently traveled to Washington at the request of the White House, said Trump had a birthday message for the North Korean leader on the occasion of his 36th birthday, which is believed to be Jan. 8.
Chung returned from the three-day trip to the United States on Friday, South Korean television network MBC reported.
According to the South Korean national security adviser, Trump requested Moon deliver the message to Kim on his behalf.
Trump "said he 'hoped the message be passed on to Chairman Kim Jong Un'," Chung said during his briefing with reporters at Incheon International Airport. On Thursday "the message was delivered using an appropriate method."
Chung did not elaborate on the details of the message, or the means of delivery.
North Korea has rejected offers of talks from the South, which presents a challenge for inter-Korea communications.
The message was likely sent to the North via a communication hotline at Panmunjom, Yonhap reported Friday.
North Korea is under heavy sanctions and has requested relief from embargoes as part of negotiations with the United States. The Trump administration has rejected sanctions relief ahead of denuclearization.
On Friday, Pyongyang's Workers' Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun stressed the importance of the regime's rice supply.
"Without rice we cannot build or defend socialism," the Rodong said.
The newspaper also said the "food problem" must be resolved.
"It is simply a practical economic matter," the Rodong said.