Global News

Moon, Abe agree to co-operate on North Korea

Moon, Abe agree to co-operate on North Korea

Moon Jae-in from the South Korean Democratic Party on Wednesday became the new president of the Asian nation with support of 41.1 percent of voters, according to National Electoral Commission (NEC). Moon took office instantly, without a transitional period.

China sees the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system as a threat to its own military capability and has slapped a series of measures against South Korean businesses seen as economic retaliation.

Easing tensions over the antimissile system was a crucial topic when President Xi Jinping of China called Moon on Thursday to congratulate him on his election as president two days before.

As well as clouding efforts to rein in North Korea's nuclear ambitions, the Thaad deployment has also led to recriminations from Beijing against South Korean companies.

The dispute could complicate what has been a growing alliance between the countries, although Moon also stressed that historical problem should not hinder bilateral relations on other issues.

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China views THAAD as a threat and a destabilizing influence in the region, and has retaliated against South Korea with limits on tourism and imports.

In the first direct contact between the South Korean and Chinese leaders, Mr Xi explained Beijing's position, said Mr Yoon, the South Korean presidential spokesman, without elaborating.

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Some of those goals would collide with those of the Trump administration, which is seeking to place more economic sanctions on North Korea to pressure Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons.

Xi during the call, also expressed China's commitment to achieving the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula through "dialogue", a statement from the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.

In January, a book by Moon was published where he wrote that South Korea should learn to "say no to America" and become self-reliant in the field of defense capabilities, shifting wartime operational control of the South Korean armed forces from the US back to Seoul.

He had said that he looked forward to working with Moon to further strengthen the strategic partnership.

North Korea, as of Thursday morning, had yet to comment officially on Moon's election, but experts say there's no reason for it to dislike his win.

It said Moon told Abe that it was emotionally hard for South Koreans to accept the agreement. Moon has called for a renegotiation of the pact. In his inaugural address, he promised to "negotiate sincerely" with the US and China to resolve the issue.

Pyongyang sent letters to the United States in 1984 calling for the opening of three-way talks between Pyongyang, Seoul and Washington.


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