Will Moon and Trump hold a summit soon?

by Garry Watts May 20, 2017, 0:46

Chinese leader Xi Jinping and new South Korean president Moon Jae-In agreed Thursday that denuclearising North Korea was a "common goal" between them, Mr Moon's office said.

Park's decision to allow the United States to base a state-of-the-art missile defense system known by the acronym THAAD in South Korea's territory to cope with North Korean nuclear threats is a major irritant.

China hoped South Korea "pays attention to China's security concerns" and deals "appropriately" with the THAAD issue, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman told a briefing in Beijing.

Moon told Xi during the 40-minute call that he plans to send a special delegation to Beijing for talks on both topics, Moon's office said in a statement.

Moon's conversation with Xi came a day after he spoke with President Donald Trump, who in the phone call congratulated Moon on his election win and invited him to visit the White House.

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

"There will be a need to demonstrate specific actions that will lead to the denuclearization of North Korea".

After rallying a large number of citizens behind the unprecedented protests, the President has raised expectations of a more transparent and accountable corporate governance culture in South Korea's conventional chaebol system of family-owned businesses.

With only an acting president in place for several months, South Korea has found itself caught between the USA and China on the diplomatic and economic front.

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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".

"We want to contribute to the peace and prosperity of the Korean peninsula together with other countries including South Korea", The Global Times quoted Xi as saying.

North Korea has conducted two nuclear tests and test-fired almost 30 missiles since previous year.

It was the first such "track two" dialogue between the USA and North Korea since Trump took office. South Koreans also are concerned about the economy, job growth, trade ties and opportunities for young people.

The center will draw on officers from across the CIA and "bring their expertise and creativity to bear against the North Korea target", an agency statement said.

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

The election of the moderate Moon Jae-in as South Korea's President marks a decisive break from the bitter divisions and scandals that unsettled the country's administrative and political equilibrium in recent months.

During his campaign, many conservatives anxious that Moon's election would cause problems with Washington, Seoul's most important ally, because of his engagement policy on North Korea would clash with Trump's push to maximize pressures on the country. But a WSJ op-ed by Michael Breen said Moon's approach is likely to be more realistic than the "sunshine policy".

Along with his promises to tackle serious worldwide issues, Moon said he would cut ties with South Korea's conglomerates and leave the office uncorrupted.

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