(Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump at the demilitarized zone (DMZ) separating South and North Korea)[KCNA/Kyodo]
BEIJING - The relationship between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump remains "special," an adviser to the North's Foreign Ministry said in a statement carried Thursday by the state-run Korean Central News Agency.
The statement by Kim Kye Gwan, which said he met with Kim Jong Un a few days ago, came around three weeks after bilateral working-level talks on denuclearization that resumed in Stockholm earlier this month after months of stalemate ended without progress.
The North Korean leader told the adviser that the relationship "between him and President Trump is special," the statement said, suggesting Pyongyang is still eager to maintain contact with Washington.
"I sincerely hope that a motive force to overcome all the obstacles between the DPRK and the U.S. and to advance the bilateral relations in the better direction will be provided on the basis of the close relationship," Kim Kye Gwan said in the statement.
DPRK is the acronym for North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
"The problem is that contrary to the political judgment and intention of President Trump, Washington political circles and DPRK policy makers of the U.S. administration are hostile to the DPRK for no reason," the adviser said. "We want to see how wisely the U.S. will pass the end of the year."
At their Feb. 27-28 summit in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi, Kim and Trump fell short of bridging the gap between Washington's denuclearization demands and Pyongyang's calls for sanctions relief.
In a speech to the nation's legislature in April, Kim asked the United States to shift its policy on denuclearization negotiations by the end of this year, criticizing Washington for making what he claimed are one-sided demands.
At the first-ever U.S.-North Korea summit in June 2018 in Singapore, Trump promised to provide security guarantees to Pyongyang in return for "complete" denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
North Korea, however, has claimed that the United States has not implemented the agreement despite Pyongyang taking what it says are concrete steps to achieve denuclearization. In recent months, the country has continued to test its weapons technology.
The United States and North Korea technically remain in a state of war after the 1950-1953 Korean War ended in a cease-fire. The two nations have no diplomatic relations.