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Trump invites new South Korean leader to US

14 May 2017
Trump invites new South Korean leader to US

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

Tension has been high for months on the Korean peninsula over North Korea's nuclear and missile development and fears it will conduct a sixth nuclear test or test another ballistic missile in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions.

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

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.

Moon previously mentioned that South Korea should learn how to say no when it comes to cooperating with their American allies.

On Thursday, the USA director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, told the Senate Intelligence Committee that North Korea posed "a very significant, potentially existential threat to the United States that has to be addressed".

North Korea is approaching the capability to threaten America with a nuclear-tipped missile.

On that front, Moon's options to generate major change could be severely limited by South Korea's alliance with the United States and whatever position toward North Korea that President Donald Trump decides to take.

Mr Moon told Mr Abe that most Koreans could not accept the agreement, according to the Blue House, while Japan's top government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said Mr Abe told him it was "extremely important" to implement it.

The 64-year-old Democratic Party member is a former human rights lawyer and the son of North Korean immigrants, who fled to the South during the civil war in the 1950s.

Since 2008, photographer Eric Lafforgue ventured to North Korea six times.

He also made reference to Chinese anger at the new defence system, which has led Beijing to enact punishing economic sanctions against South Korea.

After the obligatory congratulations, Japan is cautiously watching to see how relations with South Korea evolve under Moon, known for his tough stance on wartime history and territorial issues.

Moon spoke to Xi about the difficulties faced by some South Korean companies doing business in China facing discrimination in retaliation for the THAAD deployment.

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. The country hosts some 28,000 USA forces.

China has denied it is retaliating against South Korean businesses.