US President Donald Trump sent a personal letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, seeking to maintain good relations and offering co-operation over the coronavirus pandemic, Mr Kim's sister claims.
The letter came as Mr Kim watched the firing of tactical guided weapons, drawing criticism from South Korea, as nuclear talks are deadlocked.
Mr Kim's sister and senior ruling party official, Kim Yo Jong, praised Mr Trump for sending the letter at a time when "big difficulties and challenges lie ahead in the way of developing ties" between the countries.
She said Mr Trump explained his plan to "propel the relations between the two countries ... and expressed his intent to render co-operation in the anti-epidemic work", an apparent reference to the global coronavirus outbreak. She said her brother was grateful for the letter.
North Korea has repeatedly said there hasn't been a single case of the coronavirus on its soil. Some foreign experts question that claim and say an outbreak in the North could cause a humanitarian disaster because of its poor medical infrastructure. .
A senior US administration official said Mr Trump sent a letter to Mr Kim that was consistent with Mr Trump's efforts to engage global leaders during the pandemic.
Kim Yo Jong said Mr Trump's letter is "a good example showing the special and firm personal relations" between the North Korean and US leaders.
South Korea's military confirmed it detected two short-range ballistic missiles that flew from a site in North Korea across the country and landed in the waters off the east coast.