S. Korea's leader willing to visit North, talk to US, China

The Prime Minister called Moon Jae-in to congratulate him on his election victory and to discuss the crisis around North Korea's nuclear weapons test programme. President Donald Trump wants to tighten an economic vise around the country and has even raised the possibility of military force.

Moon said in his first speech as president he would immediately begin efforts to defuse security tensions on the Korean Peninsula and negotiate with Washington and Beijing to ease the row over a USA missile defense system being deployed in South Korea. "If the conditions shape up, I will go to Pyongyang", Moon said. "I will share information on national security with the opposition to gather wisdom". Now more than ever is the time for Seoul to devote itself to balanced diplomacy with the position that it should take the initiative in resolving problems on the Korean Peninsula.

Moon assumed presidential duties early in the morning after the National Election Commission finished counting Tuesday's votes and declared him victor of the special election necessitated by the ousting of conservative Park Geun-hye, whose downfall and jailing on corruption charges is one of the most turbulent stretches in the nation's recent political history. "We made a decision to send a delegation comprised of Rep. Park and other government officials". While some are anxious that Moon and Trump's summit might take place too soon, it's critical for the two leaders to quickly meet, share their opinions and find a compromise in light of the vacuum in the government that lasted for almost half a year and everything that has happened in the meantime.

Graham: Trump did staff a 'disservice' by changing Comey explanation
The White House had no immediate comment. "He really, I think, did his staff a disservice by changing the explanation". Graham believed that the president was not the target of any agency investigation on Russian collusion.

Beijing's displeasure over THAAD has reportedly been felt by South Korean businesses, particularly Lotte, the South Korean conglomerate that signed off on a land swap deal with the government to provide a site for the THAAD launch systems in late February. Moon also offered a message of unity to his political rivals - Moon's Democratic Party has only 120 out of 300 seats in the National Assembly, so he may need broader support while pushing his key policies. Moon agreed with the leaders of the United States and China to hold a summit within a short time. "We must put the days of fierce competition behind and hold hands marching forward". Lee Sun-jin, chairman of South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff, and he visited a national cemetery in Seoul where he wrote in a visitor book: "A country worth being proud of; a strong and reliable president!" There are also quite a few noteworthy aspects of Moon's telephone conversations with the leaders of China and Japan. But challenging Washington over THAAD might be hard for Moon.

As bilateral tensions continued over the deployment under the previous Park Geun-hye government, China had skipped invitation of South Korea to the regional forum while sending out invitations to dozens of other countries including North Korea.

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