South Korea's Presidential Office says it received a letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Sunday afternoon - ahead of the New Year, .in which he promised to work toward peace and prosperity in 2019.
But stalled nuclear talks between Pyongyang and Washington had an impact on inter-Korean ties, with the South's plan to host Kim in Seoul this year - as agreed at his summit with President Moon Jae-in in Pyongyang in September - going unanswered by the North.
Another speaker, in a reflection of the shift in perception towards Kim in South Korea, said: "Until now, we did not know Kim's true self". South Korean officials didn't fully disclose Kim's letter.
Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un during a welcome parade when the pair met in Pyongyang, North Korea, earlier in 2018. But the US maintains it will keep sanctions in place against North Korea.
Moon's office said Kim requested more peace talks between the two nations and expressed regret he couldn't make it to South Korea for a planned visit by the end of December, which was pledged by both leaders during their last summit together in Pyongyang in September.
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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.
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 will be keenly watched by neighboring countries, as it is expected to hint at what tone his foreign policy for 2019 would take, Reuters reported.
"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 denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula", the spokesman said. The two sides have clashed over the pace and sequence of talks, with North Korea demanding relief from global sanctions and the USA seeking more steps toward disarmament. North Korean state media said the removal of the U.S.'s nuclear weapons from the region was a condition of its own disarmament, raising the stakes for Trump's efforts to hold a second summit with Kim.