Trump invites new South Korean leader to US

South Korea's President to send delegation to China amid frayed ties

The deployment of THAAD was agreed a year ago by South Korea's previous administration after North Korea conducted a long-range rocket launch that put an object into space.

"On the basis of mutual understanding and mutual respect, China is committed to cementing political mutual trust, properly handling differences and enhancing coordination and cooperation, so as to push for the healthy and stable development of bilateral ties", Xi said in his message, according to Chinese state media.

"I, too, aim to find a way to begin talks quickly between North and South Korea as well as the six-party talks", Moon said, referring to talks aimed at denuclearizing North Korea involving the United States, China, Japan, Russia and the two Koreas.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry also expressed a desire to deepen cooperation between the two nations. The leaders agreed to strengthen the alliance.

U.S. President Donald Trump has responded to the new South Korean president's advocacy of talks with North Korea by saying he does not oppose discussions, but reiterated that the circumstances must be right, according to a transcript of an NBC interview.

China says the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) undermines its security as its powerful radar can probe deep into its territory.

"If Moon wants to improve Seoul's ties with Beijing, it would not be hard for him to figure out the correct path", Xinhua argues.

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.


North Korea's heightened threat could change Moon's calculus once in power. On Thursday, U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said North Korea posed "a very significant, potentially existential threat to the United States that has to be addressed".

South Korea's new president got right to work Wednesday, saying he's ready to negotiate with the United States and China over a controversial US missile defense system and would even travel to Pyongyang "if the circumstances are right".

South Korean internet users on Thursday shared photos of Moon waving off a presidential employee and taking off his own jacket at a luncheon. Before South Koreans voted, he demanded a payment of $1 billion for the THAAD system. Moon, by contrast, favors outreach right away, so long as North Korea doesn't carry out major acts of aggression.

USA officials have said they see no value in resuming global talks with North Korea under current circumstances and that Pyongyang must make clear it is committed to denuclearization.

Moon told Xi that it would be easier to settle the missile-defense issue if North Korea wasn't engaging in provocations, the statement said.

Moon was inaugurated shortly after election officials confirmed his victory.

"I am willing to go anywhere for the peace of the Korean peninsula - if needed, I will fly immediately to Washington".

"I will become a president who communicates with people at all times".

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