Sunday, 19 November, 2017

Korea's Moon to send delegation to China amid frayed ties

North Korea to extradite plot to kill culprits Korea's Moon to send delegation to China amid frayed ties
Saul Franklin | 14 May, 2017, 03:54

South Korea's new president Moon Jae-in broke eight months of top-level silence between Seoul and Beijing today, placing a phone call to Xi Jinping that offered an emerging glimpse of his North Korea strategy.

In their first telephone conversation, Moon and Xi "agreed that denuclearising the Korean peninsula is the two countries' common goal", the South Korean president's spokesman Yoon Young-Chan told reporters.

Their conversation came as talk emerged in local media that Mr Moon could use next year's Winter Olympics, hosted by South Korea, as a platform to restart dialogue with the North and pave the way towards a nuclear moratorium.

He also noted that Russian Federation was ready to play a "productive" role to help resolve the North Korean issue, it added.

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).

Trump congratulated Moon on his election victory and promised to invite him to Washington.

Moon told Abe to "look straight at history" and not make the past "a barrier", South Korea's presidential office said.

Mr Moon told Mr Xi many South Koreans and businesses in China are struggling.

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Moon said he will send a delegation to Beijing to discuss both North Korea and THAAD.

South Korea's election body says almost 64 percent of the country's 42.4 million eligible voters cast their ballots as of 3 p.m. Tuesday, representing a faster pace than the previous presidential election in 2012.

That may set up a possible dispute with Seoul as Moon favors talks with the North and has said he would re-establish trade ties between the two countries, which remain technically at war after their 1950-53 conflict ended in an armistice instead of a peace treaty.

Washington says the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (Thaad) system will play a vital role in curbing the missile threat from Pyongyang, but Beijing says that the system's radar affects its security.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un supervised a ballistic rocket launching drill of Hwasong artillery units of the Strategic Force of the Korean People's Army in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency in Pyongyang, March 7, 2017.

China has already taken commercial retaliation against South Korean business interests on its soil, but will be hoping Moon follows through on his campaign pledge to review the missile system's deployment if elected.

A Japanese government official says his country is closely watching South Korea's presidential election and hopes to strengthen bilateral relations with the new leader.

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