Moon urges both talks and sanctions to rein in N Korea

During the campaign, Moon had criticized the anti-missile system, known as the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, which China sees as a threat to its security.

"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 denuclearising North Korea involving the United States, China, Japan, Russia and the two Koreas. He also said he was prepared to go to Pyongyang "if the conditions are right". Observers said recent tensions over Seoul's deployment of a USA missile defence system were behind that decision.

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

The industrial park was shut down by the South Korean government in February 2016, in response to a ballistic missile test by North Korea.

But Abe also said "dialog for dialog's sake would be meaningless" and he called on North Korea to demonstrate "sincere and concrete action", Hagiuda said, adding that Moon shared Abe's views. South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs is treating the remarks over the phone as instructions and has started preparing for deliberations with the U.S. to schedule the summit.

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

Beijing has asked the deployment be canceled because of THAAD's powerful radar and regional surveillance capabilities. Lee Myung-bak (in office 2008-13) was the previous president who was in the biggest hurry to hold a summit with the US.

Moon came to power with a promise to review the system and he told Xi North Korea must cease making provocations before tension over the deployment could be resolved, officials said. South Korea's relations with Japan are strained by the Japanese military's sexual exploitation of South Korean women during World War II, and relations with China have been irritated over the THAAD anti-missile system deployment.

Mr Xi told Mr Moon that South Korea and China should respect each other's concerns, set aside differences, seek common ground and handle disputes appropriately, China's Foreign Ministry said in a statement. 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).

China has denied it is retaliating against South Korean businesses.


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