New South Korea president vows to address North Korea, broader tensions 'urgently'

Mr. Xi told Mr. Moon that China has always upheld the de-nuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and that the nuclear issue should be resolved through talks, which are in everyone's interests, according to the state television report.

"What's important in this process is that South Korea should lead that new flow of events - we should not be a sightseer just watching talks between the United States and China".

President Donald Trump is extending an invitation to the new president of South Korea.

"They agreed the United Kingdom and Republic of Korea would remain close partners on a wide range of issues, including trade, defence and security".

The installation of THAAD began last month amid rising tensions over North Korea's ballistic and nuclear tests.

While the Trump administration is calling for "maximum pressure" on North Korea, South Korea will have a president who has pledged to resume engagement with North Korea - including reopening an industrial park that the previous administration said was funneling cash to the regime in Pyongyang.

Washington wants to increase pressure on Pyongyang through further isolation and sanctions, in contrast to Mr Moon's advocacy for greater engagement with the reclusive North.

Moon named Suh Hoon, a career spy agency official and a veteran of inter-Korea ties, as the head of the National Intelligence Service.

In his first key appointments, President Moon named Lee Nak-yon, the current governor of South Jeolla Province, to the post of Prime Minister. His appointment requires parliamentary approval.

Along with his promises to tackle serious worldwide issues, Moon said he would cut ties with South Korea's conglomerates and leave the office uncorrupted. I will go to Beijing and I will go to Tokyo. "Later, I will go back to my home and become an ordinary citizen", Moon said.

Under the Status of Forces Agreement, South Korea provides the land and supports facilities for THAAD, while the US operates and repairs the missile system. Moon's Democratic Party said he was briefed on the status of the North Korean military and South Korea's military readiness.

Moon met leaders of opposition parties before his simple swearing-in ceremony at parliament, where his party lacks a majority, and promised to coordinate with them on national security.

Given Moon Jae-in's uncompromising stance on hot historical issues like wartime "comfort women", Japan is increasingly wary of dealing with a tough-minded South Korean president amid a challenging political landscape in Asia.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe both congratulated Moon on Wednesday.

Moon, who won Tuesday's election by a landslide, added: "I am willing to go anywhere for the peace of the Korean peninsula if needed". China contends that the system's radar ranges into its territory and threatens its own security.

In the run up to today's elections Moon got an unlikely boost from the delusional Trump who suggested South Koreans – who don't want THAAD in the first place – should pay the USA for it. Moon made a campaign vow to reconsider THAAD.

David Straub, a former U.S. State Department official and a North Korea expert at the Sejong Institute near Seoul, said during the same online discussion at Brookings that THAAD is a critical issue to the South Koreans due in part to China's ongoing economic retribution.

  • Zachary Reyes