New South Korean president talks to China, Japan leaders

The Latest: SKorea expects higher voter turnout than in 2012

However, Moon said recently that the decision to deploy the THAAD missile defense system to South Korea should have been made after the presidential election.

Yoon Young-chan told a press conference here on Thursday that President Moon would dispatch separate delegations to discuss THAAD and the DPRK's nuclear program with their Chinese counterparts, although the two issues will be dealt with together.

"Sanctions against North Korea are also a means to bring the North to the negotiating table aimed at eliminating its nuclear weapons", Mr Yoon told a briefing, adding that Mr Xi indicated his agreement.

"President Moon said the Thaad issue can be resolved when there is no further provocation by North Korea, " Mr Yoon said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping offered his congratulations to the new South Korean leader.

The White House also congratulated Moon, saying it looked forward to working with him to strengthen their longstanding alliance.

Should Trump persist in that line, he could quickly sabotage both his North Korea initiative and bilateral relations with a vital American ally.

As president, Moon must find a way to coax an increasingly belligerent North Korea to ease its nuclear and missile threats. President Trump has vowed to fix or scrap the trade deal.

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

"While it will be important to resolve the issues peacefully and diplomatically, holding a dialogue for the goal of a dialogue would be meaningless", Abe said, referring to Pyongyang's ballistic missile launches and nuclear tests. South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs is treating the remarks over the phone as instructions and has started preparing for deliberations with the United States to schedule the summit.

He took office just one day after the presidential election because South Korea has had an acting president since last December.

South Korea's liberals also recognize that the strategic situation has changed significantly since the Kim and early Roh eras, when North Korea had not yet become a de facto nuclear state. According to the same report, Moon said he attaches great interest to his nation's relationship with China and particularly underscored his appreciation for China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Mr Moon has advocated dialogue with the North as well as sanctions, adopting a more conciliatory stance than his predecessor.

Moon did not express a negative view of the 2015 "comfort women" agreement, the official told reporters.

Mr Moon's office said the new president also spoke with Vladimir Putin on Friday - with the Russian leader pledging to play a constructive role in resolving the North Korea crisis.

Already unhappy with a slowing economy and shrinking opportunities for the young, South Koreans took to the streets by the hundreds of thousands past year when President Park Geun-hye was accused of conspiring with a friend to extort bribes from the country's big conglomerates.

Moon then proposed the countries to enhance their bilateral cooperation in three major areas, including joint efforts to end North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

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