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

Mr Moon said in his first speech as President that he would immediately begin efforts to defuse security tensions on the Korean peninsula, and negotiate with Washington and Beijing to ease the row over a USA missile defence system being deployed in the South.

South Korea's new President was sworn in on Wednesday, just a day after a landslide election victory, and immediately declared his willingness to visit Pyongyang amid high tensions with the nuclear-armed North.

Mainstream historians say up to 200,000 women, mostly from Korea but also China and other parts of Asia, were forced to work in Japanese military brothels during World War II.

"If needed I will fly directly to Washington". I will go to Beijing and Tokyo.

Nonetheless, aside from wanting to restore normal relations and trade with North Korea, Moon wants to have the same with China.

Moon's swearing-in brought to an end a months-long power vacuum after previous president Park Geun-hye was ousted in a corruption scandal in March.

In short, Moon talks the talk, and today he'll become the leader of South Korea.

If South Korea were to say that special considerations apply on the peninsula, the Moon administration would "bring South Korea into immediate diplomatic conflict with the USA and undercut China's already tepid willingness to implement sanctions", Marcus Noland and Kent Boydston of the Peterson Institute for International Economics wrote in an analysis.




The new South Korean president faces the daunting task of finding a way to restore relations without upsetting global partners such as the US, given Pyongyang's self-description as a nuclear weapon state.

The first so-called "Track 2" talks since Trump took office in January dealt with nuclear issues, regional security and bilateral matters between Washington and Pyongyang, a person familiar with the discussions told Reuters, but declined to elaborate.

On the other hand, Trump shocked the South Koreans by announcing at the end of April that South Korea would have to pay $1 billion for the THAAD system, despite an existing agreement that the United States would bear the cost.

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

Japan has been concerned that Moon will take a tough line on feuds stemming from its 1910-1945 colonization of the Korean Peninsula and could fray ties at a time when cooperation over North Korea is vital. And yesterday, he said he would have "serious discussions with the USA and China for the resolution of issues related to Thaad". Moon realizes that pressure alone is not sufficient for resolving the North Korean nuclear issue and that the key is to pursue both dialogue and pressure, he said.

Moon Jae-in also spoke with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday afternoon, according to a separate statement by the Blue House. Moon's aides say he will commute from his home for the first few days as workers finish furnishing the Blue House residential space for him.

China's Foreign Ministry said Beijing hoped South Korea "pays attention to China's security concerns" and deals "appropriately" with the THAAD issue.

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