US President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in say tensions have eased significantly since then, but Ban, who is in Tokyo for a World Bank event, said the crisis is not over and that North Korea should fully disclose its nuclear weapons inventory to a trusted global organisation such as the worldwide Atomic Energy Agency.
Kim's father and late leader, Kim Jong-il, saw his birthday designated as a national holiday in 1982 when he was 40, two years after he was anointed as successor to his father and national founder Kim Il-sung.
"This will be the first time that a North Korean leader will visit South Korea so, although there is no time frame set for that, still that's very meaningful", Moon said.
New Zealand is active in the monitoring of United Nations sanctions against North Korea, deploying an Air Force P-3K2 plane to patrol worldwide waters in North Asia for signs of vessels undertaking activities such as ship-to-ship transfers.
Moon is now pushing for Kim to visit Seoul before the end of the year, in what would be the first official visit from a North Korean leader to the capital since the end of the Korean War.
"Whether it's this year or not isn't that important, what's important is that the North Korea leader's visit to South Korea will definitely accelerate the denuclearisation process in the Korean peninsula".
Blood test to detect cancer within just 10 minutes developed by scientists
If DNA from cancer cells is then added, it sticks to the nanoparticles in such a way that the water retains its original colour. "So we were very excited about an easy way of catching these circulating free cancer DNA signatures in blood", he said.
"President Trump asked me to forward to [Kim] these messages; he has a very friendly view of Chairman Kim Jong Un and likes him".
President Moon Jae-in met with New Zealand's main opposition leader on Monday during his state visit to the country and discussed ways to advance bilateral cooperation.
Moon has met Kim three times this year.
North Korea had been angered by Washington's refusal to ease sanctions and has warned it could resume development of its nuclear program if the United States did not drop its campaign. Trump recently said he is likely to hold a second summit with Kim in January or February.
"New Zealand's stance on nuclear non-proliferation is clear and it is our hope that 2019 will see further progress towards achieving denuclearisation of North Korea in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner and an enduring peace on the Korean peninsula", Ardern said in an emailed statement.
Trade is also likely to feature, following New Zealand and South Korea signing a free trade agreement in 2015.
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