Korea's Moon to send delegation to China amid frayed ties

The North's state-run propaganda Web site Uriminzokkiri claimed that North Korea policies that are hostile to fellow countrymen and intensify confrontation should be fundamentally eliminated.

Moon said Pyongyang's nuclear issue should be addressed "comprehensively and gradually", not only with pressure but also through talks, because current global sanctions are also aimed at guiding Kim's regime to return to dialogue, Yoon said.

Conservative candidate Hong Joon-pyo has described South Korea's presidential election as a war between ideologies and accused his liberal rival Moon Jae-in of being aligned with North Korea. Officials from South Korea's foreign ministry reportedly say they will start arranging for a team of envoys to fly to Washington to discuss the details of the summit.

Moon, who was a close aide to Roh Moo-hyun, South Korea's last leader to adopt a "sunshine" policy of diplomatic and economic outreach toward the North, has called for a balance of pressure and engagement.

Pyongyang is keeping the world guessing on when or if it will carry out a sixth nuclear test. It has also been working to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the United States, presenting Trump with perhaps his most pressing security issue. Chinese group tours to South Korea have also been canceled, while anti-Korean sentiment has proliferated online.

In a congratulatory phone call from Washington, Trump agreed with Moon to cooperate on the nuclear issue and invited him to visit the US capitol, the South Korean presidential office said. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told the United Nations the USA wants to bring North Korea to "its senses, not to its knees", according to the Newsweek report. "The conditions for his meeting with Kim Jong-un will be the denuclearization of North Korea".

In a speech at the National Assembly, Mr Moon pledged to work for peace on the Korean Peninsula amid growing worry over the North's nuclear weapons and missiles programme.

While Moon may try to soothe Chinese anger over the missile-defense system, many observers say it appears too late to call for its withdrawal, which would greatly undermine South Korea's relationship with Washington.

China has rigorously objected to the deployment of the U.S. missile defense system in South Korea, saying it destabilized regional security and did little to curb any threat from North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, which are in defiance of USA pressure and United Nations sanctions.

Both leaders agreed to strengthen the US-South Korea alliance and the "friendship" between the two countries.

Moon has advocated a more dovish approach - and he has expressed unhappiness with what looked like a US race to put a new missile defense system, the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, in place before the election took place.

Moon also expressed hopes the two countries would be able to cooperate in developing East Asia, including extending a natural gas pipeline from Siberia to South Korea, the Blue House said.

The U.S., China and Japan sent congratulations, with the White House saying it joined South Korea's people "in celebrating their peaceful, democratic transition of power".


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