Science

Bye-bye Blue House as S. Korean leader shuns imperial home

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.

The Trump administration has also been dismayed by Moon's questioning of deployment of a U.S. missile defence system in South Korea and expects some friction in ties, although USA officials say the new president may moderate his stances in office and the effect on the alliance will be limited.

Moon has also shown a willingness to challenge the United States, a key ally of South Korea, saying that Seoul should reconsider its deployment of an advanced USA missile defense system to better cope with North Korean threats. Moon responded that he's aware of China's concerns and asked Xi to help resolve the difficulties facing South Korean businesses in China, it said.

Suga only said Abe told Moon that the agreement should be "appropriately managed", but did not elaborate.

Yoon Young-chan, a spokesman for the South Korean administration, said the call had explained China's position over the deployment of THAAD to Mr Moon, who took office on Wednesday.

The official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) put out a four-sentence report late Thursday on the victory of Mr Moon, who calls for dialogue, along with sanctions and pressure, to curb the North's nuclear ambitions.

The Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) missile system, aimed at intercepting attacks from North Korea, was made operational in South Korea last week.

China has already taken commercial retaliation against South Korean business interests on its soil, but will be hoping Moon follows through on his campaign pledge to review the missile system's deployment if elected.

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Moon also has spoken of reconsidering deployment of the US missile defense system known as THAAD that the last government rushed into service.

Moon, a former human-rights lawyer, also stressed the importance of the decades-old alliance between the two countries amid concerns that they may face friction over how to deal with North Korea.

In recent days North Korea has continued its war of words with Washington and Seoul with Kim Jong-un claiming US President Donald Trump wants world domination in an editorial in North Korea's state-run newspaper, which acts as a mouthpiece for the state's leader.

Park, who was ousted and faces trial over a corruption and influence-peddling scandal, favored a tough stance against the North, including punishing United Nations economic sanctions and diplomatic pressure.

South Korea's new president has talks with China and Japan during his first week on plans to rein in North Korea amid fears of war in the Korean peninsula.

A liberal leader in South Korea seeks warmer ties with North Korea, clashing with the Republican in the White House intent on snuffing out the North's nuclear weapons program.

"South Korea's trade volume with China is bigger than its volume with the U.S. and Japan combined".

It wasn't clear whether Moon used the conversation to call for a renegotiation of the deal. "I will go to Beijing and Tokyo, and even to Pyongyang under the right conditions.".



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