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New South Korean president in calls with China, Japan leaders

13 Mai 2017

China has invited South Korea to a summit on a global trade initiative in Beijing in what appears to be the latest move to fix a strained relationship and reach out to the new South Korean president.

South Korea's new president Moon Jae-in has told China he will send a special delegation to Beijing to discuss the North Korean nuclear crisis and the USA missile defence system that has blighted relations between the two countries.

Moon Jae-in, a liberal former human rights lawyer, was sworn in on Wednesday and said in his first speech as president he would immediately address security tensions that have raised fears of war on the Korean Peninsula.

Moon also has said he would reconsider the deployment of a controversial US missile defense system known as THAAD, which was installed on the divided peninsula based on an agreement with ousted President Park Geun-hye. The newspaper said that Moon's election put an end to the nine-year reign of conservative governments led by Lee Myung-bak and Park Geun-hye.

The deployment of the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System (THAAD) in the South has angered China, Seoul's major trading partner, which sees the system's powerful radar as a threat to its security.

President Moon Jae-in told his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping that he's aware of Beijing's concerns over a US missile shield installed on South Korean territory and will work to resolve the problem.

Beijing also issued a rebuke to America after it deployed a THAAD anti-missile system in South Korea with Chinese officials worried its powerful radar will be used to spy on them
New South Korean president in calls with China, Japan leaders

During the call, Moon told Xi that South Korean people and companies in China "are going through many difficulties", and said he hoped Xi could "pay special attention so the restrictions and sanctions could be smoothly resolved", Yoon said. In that sense, it's notable that Trump has invited Moon to have a candid conversation with him. Moon responded that he's aware of China's concerns and asked Xi to help resolve the difficulties facing South Korean businesses in China, it said. A few days before Moon's election, the Chinese ambassador to the U.S. Unlike his predecessor, he has advocated talks with the North, even asserting that he was willing to travel to Pyongyang for the sake of peace.

Tensions have been running high with Washington calling for more sanctions and warning a military option was on the table, but Trump recently softened his posture, saying he would be "honoured" to meet the North's leader Kim Jong-Un.

North Korea is believed to be preparing for a sixth nuclear test and is working to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the United States, presenting Trump with perhaps his most pressing security issue.

Pyongyang will seek the extradition of anyone involved in an alleged CIA-backed plot to kill leader Kim Jong-un with a biochemical poison, a top North Korean foreign ministry official has said.

"The U.S. -South Korea alliance is the foundation of our foreign policy, and will continue to be so".

Moon and Trump may also disagree on the US missile defense system THAAD.

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New South Korean president in calls with China, Japan leaders