Moon Seeks to Mend China Ties Over Thaad in Call With Xi

Moon Seeks to Mend China Ties Over Thaad in Call With Xi

President Donald Trump congratulated Moon on his victory in Tuesday's snap election and invited South Korea's new leader to visit the White House.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his Chinese counterpart agreed Thursday to further improve their countries' bilateral relations, while jointly calling for efforts by all concerned parties to help denuclearize North Korea, Seoul's presidential office said.

South Korea's new president was sworn in yesterday, just a day after a decisive election victory, and he immediately declared his willingness to visit Pyongyang amid tensions with nuclear-armed North Korea.

Japanese officials have described the first telephone call between new South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe as "positive and meaningful", with the two agreeing to cooperate closely to deal with North Korea.

North Korea has unveiled what it claims are satellite images of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system which was deployed by the United States military in South Korea, Seoul officials said on Thursday.

China has been upset by the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system that was approved by Moon's conservative predecessor as a hedge against North Korea, placing Seoul in a hard spot between its closest military ally in Washington and its largest trading partner in Beijing.

Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping congratulated Mr Moon on his election, saying he would be willing to work with him on a basis of "mutual understanding and mutual respect".

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.

SEOUL - South Korea's top prosecutor who oversaw the investigation into a massive corruption scandal involving former President Park Geun-hye offered to resign Thursday. Moon said he thinks so, too.

'I will go to Beijing and Tokyo and, if the conditions are right, to Pyongyang also'.

The new South Korean leader ran on a reformist ticket centered on the slogan, "National Interest First". China contends the system's radar ranges into its territory and threatens its security.

South Korea's electorate is deeply divided along ideological and generational lines, and the strong early turnout was seen as being driven by younger voters, who are more likely to support the liberal Moon.

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. He also calls for the United States to bring back tactical nuclear weapons to South Korea after withdrawing them in the 1990s.

In the 2015 comfort women agreement, Abe issued an apology over the issue and arranged for ¥1 billion to be deposited into a South Korean foundation for the dwindling survivors.

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