Xi, Moon agree denuclearising North Korea 'common goal': Seoul

Xi, Moon agree denuclearising North Korea 'common goal': Seoul

In his inaugural address Wednesday, South Korea's president said he would consider visiting Pyongyang under the right conditions.

Moon, South Korea's first liberal leader in a decade, assumed presidential duties after the National Election Commission finished counting Tuesday's votes and declared him victor.

"How to respond to North Korea.is an urgent issue".

Beijing has been upset by the installation of US missile-defense system in South Korea that was approved by Moon's conservative predecessor as a hedge against North Korea.

U.S. President Donald Trump has sought the help of China, South Korea and Japan in pressuring North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to halt testing of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

China has rigorously objected to the deployment, saying it destabilized the regional security balance and did little to curb the threat posed by North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, which Pyongyang is conducting in defiance of US pressure and United Nations sanctions.

Moon also appealed to Beijing to stop its apparent economic retaliation against South Korean businesses over THAAD. In that respect, Moon's rhetoric would fit right in with the Washington established.

In his first key appointments, Moon named two liberal veterans with ties to the 2000s "Sunshine Policy" of engagement with North Korea to the posts of prime minister and spy chief.

Moon said he planned to send a special envoy to Russian Federation in the near future. Moon took office instantly, without a transitional period.

"I take this office empty-handed, and I will leave the office empty-handed", President Moon said during his May 10 inauguration speech, according to Reuters. He has a point: Though the system is an important and needed counter to the growing missile threat from Pyongyang, the action looked like an attempt to circumvent Moon's expressed reservations by creating a fait accompli. The THAAD is increasingly opposed among many South Koreans, particularly based on Trump's calls for them to pay for it. "I would like to work with you to ensure the development of Sino-South Korean ties better benefits the two countries and peoples", the president added.

With only an acting president in place for several months, South Korea has found itself caught between the USA and China on the diplomatic and economic front. But a more rapid restoration of cultural, tourism and trade relations between Seoul and Beijing appears possible given Mr. Moon's accommodative stance.

The plight of the "comfort women" has marred relations for decades but the two governments reached a "final and irreversible" agreement in late 2015, with Japan offering an apology and a payment to survivors.

Moon's message here about the need for negotiations is sure to please Beijing, since it largely echoes the Chinese position.

The two heads of state also extended invitations to each other to visit their countries, also promising to meet in person at the upcoming G20 summit scheduled to be held in Germany in July.

But Moon also has to navigate a complex web of regional issues. "I think that June would also be fine", Kim said.

Data from an exit poll conducted by South Korea's top three television networks showed that, while Moon won the majority of votes cast by those under the age of 50, conservative rival Hong Joon-pyo found strong support among voters in their 60s and 70s. "We hope the new administration values cooperation with Japan and the USA and develops realistic security and foreign policies".



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