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China pressures South Korea about missile system

President Donald Trump on Wednesday congratulated the liberal victor in South Korea's recent presidential polls for his "great election victory".

Moon took charge as the president of South Korea today, after the National Election Commission declared him victor yesterday.

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.

Tokyo has been concerned that Mr Moon will take a tough line on feuds stemming from the bitter legacy of its 1910-1945 colonisation of the Korean peninsula and could fray ties at a time when cooperation on North Korea is vital.

Moon also called the Seoul-Washington alliance the "foundation" of South Korea's diplomatic and security policy, while noting that Trump has put the North's provocations and nuclear problem atop his security agenda. Moon's aides say he will commute from his home for the first few days as workers finish furnishing the Blue House residential space for him.

China was willing to keep working hard with all parties, including South Korea, for the peace and prosperity of the Korean peninsula, Mr. Xi said.

Trump congratulated Moon on his election victory and promised to invite him to Washington.

"Politics were turbulent (in the past several months), but our people showed greatness", Moon said. He also said he would send a special diplomatic delegation to the United States at the "earliest date".

The leaders of China, Japan and other countries sent their congratulations.

In a thornier conversation, Moon suggested he may scrap an agreement with Japan over that country's sexual enslavement of Korean women during World War II, according to the Yonhap news agency.

Moon, who won the presidential snap election Tuesday, came into office the next day following the impeachment and removal of former President Park Geun-hye for an abuse of power and influence-peddling scandal.

On Sunday, Pyongyang announced it had detained a USA citizen on suspicion of "hostile acts" against the regime, days after it accused Seoul and Washington of plotting to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un using "biochemical weapons".




Archbishop Hyginus Hee-joong Kim further encouraged the new leader to attend to the dignity of all citizens: "the vulnerable and disadvantaged in the society can be treated with human dignity and respect, where everyone enjoys the right to freedom of thought and conscience".

He has been cautious about the recent decision to deploy a controversial US anti-missile system in South Korea.

In the first comments from the North after Mr Moon's win, the official Rodong Sinmun newspaper called on South Korea's new government to end what the paper called confrontational policies, including joint drills with the United States.

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.

Both Moon and Xi agreed that denuclearising North Korea was a "common goal". They agreed to closely cooperate in dealing with North Korea's nuclear weapons development program.

Mr Moon also raised the issue of apparent economic retaliation against South Korean firms in China, he said.

During the campaign, Moon had criticized the anti-missile system, known as the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, which China sees as a threat to its security.

The South's president has also several times expressed interest in meeting the North's ruler Kim Jong-un, and the reclusive state's ruling party newspaper said Thursday the two Koreas should "seek dialogue and negotiations at various levels".

The conversation is a sign of willingness to fix relations between the two countries.

Moon said he hoped the two countries could "work together to wisely overcome historical issues".

It wasn't clear whether Moon used the conversation to call for a renegotiation of the deal.

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