Chinese president talks with South Korean president by phone

Moon Jae-in, the newly elected leader of South Korea, moved swiftly to mend ties with China on Thursday, announcing plans to dispatch a delegation to Beijing to resolve a festering dispute over the deployment of a USA missile-defense system in his country.

"President Moon said he understands China's interest in the Thaad deployment and its concerns, and said he hopes the two countries can swiftly get on with communication to further improve each other's understanding", Mr Yoon told a briefing.

"We hope for Russian Federation to play a constructive role in order for North Korea to stop with its nuclear provocations and go the way of denuclearisation", Moon was cited as saying to Putin in the 20-minute conversation.

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.

On Wednesday night, Moon held his first phone conversation with U.S. President Donald Trump and talked about the Peninsula situations.

Moon has taken a more conciliatory line with North Korea than his conservative predecessors and advocates engagement. He also expressed hope for building forward-looking bilateral relations.

Moon said he would send a special envoy to Russian Federation soon and Putin said he would welcome the envoy.

President Moon told Abe that their countries must not let their complicated histories interfere with their new alliance, including their controversial 2015 agreement.

While Moon and Trump will have an occasion to meet at the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, on July 7 and 8, officials in Seoul think a summit shouldn't wait.

China has rigorously objected to the deployment of the USA 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 U.S. pressure and United Nations sanctions.

South Korea's election body said that Moon had gathered 41 percent of the votes.

It said Moon told Abe that it was emotionally hard for South Koreans to accept the agreement.

Earlier in the day, Moon spoke with British Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Blue House said. At the time, the deal was supposed to be an "irreversible" solution to the so-called comfort women issue that has dogged relations between the countries for decades.

"Threats from North Korea's nuclear and missile development have entered a new stage", Japan's Mr Abe told Mr Moon in their telephone call, according to Japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Hagiuda.

Moon did not mention renegotiating the deal in this initial conversation, according to his aides, though he called for that during his campaign.

  • Leroy Wright