Research

Xi talks with South Korean president over phone

Xi talks with South Korean president over phone

Chinese President Xi Jinping extended the invitation to the Belt and Road conference in Beijing during a telephone call on Thursday with new South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Moon's spokesman, Yoon Young-chan, told a briefing on Friday.

This was expressed by Russian President Vladimir Putin during a phone call to his newly elected South Korean counterpart, Moon Jae-in.

As liberal President Moon Jae-in took office Wednesday, attention is being drawn to whether Seoul could resume the operation of the Kaesong Industrial Complex, which was shut down past year following Pyongyang's nuclear and missile provocations.

Earlier this month, South Korean officials said the THAAD system was already operating, and experts say it will be extremely hard now for Moon to ask Washington to withdraw it.

During the 30-minute talks that began at 10.30 pm (Korea time), Moon said, "The South Korea-U.S. alliance is more important than at any other time given the growing uncertainties over the security situation of the Korean Peninsula".

Moon was part of the South's last liberal government, which pursued a "Sunshine policy" of reconciliation and dialogue with the North, and is widely expected to shift away Park's hardline approach.

Paul Pogba to miss United's Southampton clash on compassionate grounds
United will receive 6.5 million euros in prize money if they win the Europa League and 3.5 million euros if they lose the final. He did not just come in and say "there you go - play every game".

Moon came to power with a promise to review the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system, which is opposed by China but is being deployed as a show of strength against continued provocation by the North. Moon also appealed to Beijing to stop its apparent economic retaliation against South Korean businesses over THAAD. China has vigorously opposed the deployment of a U.S. anti-missile system in South Korea, saying it threatens Chinese security and will do nothing to resolve tensions with North Korea.

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

Moon later spoke with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and agreed to hold a bilateral meeting soon, Seoul and Tokyo said. China retaliated against the decision to allow the system by suspending Korean retail giant Lotte Mart's stores in its territory, banning package tours and imposing stricter rules for sales of Korean cosmetics products. As he took the oath of office Wednesday, Moon said he was open to visiting Pyongyang under the right conditions to discuss its nuclear programme.

With only an acting president in place for several months, South Korea has found itself caught between the US and China on the diplomatic and economic front.

First freeze North Korea's nuclear development, then engage with them economically before working towards the ultimate goal of denuclearization.


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