China presses South Korea on THAAD missile system

May 20, 2017, 00:28
China presses South Korea on THAAD missile system

Suh was instrumental in setting up two previous summits between the North and South. His appointment requires parliamentary approval.

The Thaad deployment was agreed by Mr Moon's predecessor, conservative leader Park Guen-hye.

"I will quickly move to solve the crisis in national security". "If needed, I will fly immediately to Washington".

"I will also go to Beijing and Tokyo and even Pyongyang in the right circumstances".

Mr Moon told President Xi Jinping that North Korean provocations had to stop before the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (Thaad) system could be reconsidered.

The New York Times today reports that soon, Moon will send a delegation to Beijing for the specific objective of discussing the North Korean crisis. "And I think we've handled it very well, very firmly".

Moon waved to well-wishers through the sunroof of his limousine, which was flanked by police motorbikes.

Moon Jae-in also spoke with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday afternoon, according to a separate statement by the Blue House.

"This is in the common interest of China and South Korea as well as overall peace and stability in the region", Xi said, according to the statement.

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If they had, North Korea might have become more dependent on South Korea than on China, in which case US and South Korean leaders would not have to plead constantly with China to rein in the North Korean regime.

Seoul and Washington began deploying the Thaad system in March and it has since become operational.

Moon championed an economic platform that called for fiscal stimulus of over $8 billion, wants to create over 800,000 public sector jobs, and seeks to expanded social benefits.

Moon has previously expressed ambivalence over the THAAD system and told Xi he was "well aware" of Chinese concerns about it.

The antimissile system is one of the thorniest diplomatic issues the new South Korean leader faces.

It has conducted its fifth nuclear test and a series of missile launches since the start of past year, ratcheting up tension. Former presidents Roh Moo-hyun (2003-08) and Park Geun-hye (2013-16) each visited the United States to meet the American president two and a half months after taking office, in May 2003 and May 2013, respectively.

South Korea has accepted a last-minute invitation from China to a conference on a new Silk Road, days after a new president took office on Seoul pledging to engage in discussions with Beijing to ease tension over a USA anti-missile system. President Trump said he looks forward to working with President Moon and invited him to visit Washington at an early date.

But Moon also has to navigate a complex web of regional issues.

Moon took 41.1 percent of the vote in Tuesday's election, far ahead of Hong Joon-Pyo of Park's Liberty Korea party, on 24.0 percent, and centrist Ahn Cheol-Soo on 21.4 percent. If that happens, South Korea will suffer, not the U.S. But that will also cause damage to U.S. troops based in South Korea and to many American citizens living in South Korea.

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