New Moon over South Korea may doom US THAAD anti-missile system

PRESIDENT Xi Jinping congratulated Moon Jae-in on his election as South Korea's leader yesterday and expressed his willingness to work with Seoul to improve ties, which have sunk to their lowest point since diplomatic relations were established in 1992. During their conversation, both agreed to pursue the goal of denuclearization of Korean peninsula.

Addressing the nation after taking the oath of office on Wednesday, May 10, 2017, South Korean President Moon Jae-in vowed to eventually move out of the Blue House, where every modern South Korean president has lived and worked since the end of World War II.

The son of North Korean refugees who settled in the South, Moon wants to attempt another round of "Sunshine policy" towards North Korea which was pursued between 1998 and 2008.

"President Moon said the THAAD issue can be resolved when there is no further provocation by North Korea", spokesman Yoon Young-chan said.

"We have no choice but to recognize Kim Jong Un as a counterpart, whether we put pressure and impose sanctions on North Korea or hold dialogue".

Moon, whose victory capped one of the most turbulent political stretches in the nation's recent history and set up its first liberal rule in a decade, assumed presidential duties yesterday after the National Election Commission finished counting and declared him victor of the special election necessitated by the ousting of conservative Park Geun Hye.

The South is also embroiled in a dispute with China over a controversial USA missile defence system, which Beijing sees as a threat.

Beijing has said the system would spy on its territory. Final results show Mr Moon took 41.1% of the vote on Tuesday, while conservative candidate Hong Joon-pyo took 25.5%.

North Korea's state media reported the results of South Korea's presidential election and other information in detail Thursday, one day after he was sworn in as president.

"It remains a concern that the left of center, left-wing party in South Korea is going to do well", the official told Reuters, asking not to be named. His Democratic Party has only 120 seats in the 300-seat National Assembly, so he may need broader support while pushing his key policies.

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.

  • Leroy Wright