Published: Sun, May 14, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

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

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.

President Trump invited President Moon to the White House to celebrate the two leaders' election victories, saying he respects the choice made by the South Korean people.

Beijing says the system threatens China's own security because its radar system is able to peer deep into the country's northeast and monitor its flights and missile launches.

While Moon may try to soothe Chinese anger over the THAAD deployment, many observers say it appears too late to call for its withdrawal, which would greatly undermine South Korea's relationship with Washington, its most important ally.

In the first direct contact between the South Korean and Chinese leaders, Xi explained China's position, Yoon, the South Korean presidential spokesman said, without elaborating.

Moon's attitude during the call appeared to significantly relieve senior bureaucrats in Japan who were concerned he would take a tougher stance and be reluctant to cooperate with Japan and the United States in dealing with North Korea's provocations.

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

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in have held a telephone conversation to discuss a number of issues, including those involving North Korea, the Kremlin's press-service said.

South Korean activists hold a banner during a rally against the plan to deploy the US -built Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, near the USA embassy in Seoul, July 11, 2016.

Seoul is embroiled in a diplomatic dispute with her former colonial power Japan over its wartime history, however fellow U.S. ally Tokyo is also been targeted by the North.

President Moon talked up Australian wine and beef and said he hopes bilateral trade will develop further.

Moon told Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe most South Koreans rejected Tokyo's agreement to compensate victims of sexual slavery during the 1910-45 colonial era, implying he could scrap the contentious deal reached with Park's government at the end of 2015.

North Korea said on Thursday (11 May) that it will seek extradition of the "criminals" involved in the alleged plot to assassinate their supreme leader Kim Jong-un.

Regardless, talks will happen; Moon has reportedly tapped a special envoy to China to begin discussions, to include THAAD and the nuclear crisis, as soon as Saturday.

Winning an election in a country deeply split following the impeachment of former president Park Geun-hye over an extensive corruption scandal, Moon Jae-in, a former human rights lawyer, needed only 40 percent of votes to defeat other conservative candidates in the election on Tuesday.

While taking the oath of office Wednesday, Moon said he's open to visiting North Korea under the right conditions.

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