Moon Jae-in sworn in as South Korea's president

Moon Jae-in sworn in as South Korea's president

Moon Jae-in sworn in as South Korea's president

"If needed, I will fly immediately to Washington".

When Mr Moon was last in government, in the early 2000s, South Korea had a "Sunshine Policy" which meant co-operation with North Korea, a policy which was abandoned as North Korea tested nuclear weapons.

He told Xi the ultimate goal of sanctions was to persuade North Korea to engage in dialogue about abolishing its nuclear program.

To his rivals, Moon said, "We are partners who must lead a new Republic of Korea".

Moon said in a YouTube live stream on Tuesday South Korea should take on a more active diplomatic role to curb North Korea's nuclear threat and not watch idly as the United States and China talk to each other.

Many analysts believe at its current pace of testing, North Korea could reach that potential turning point within a few years - under Trump's watch as president.

The progressives are not particularly enamoured of the ROKs alliance with the United States and they root for constructive engagement with North Korea.

The U.S. and North Korea aren't now involved in any diplomacy.

Moon's first schedule as president was expected to be a morning visit to the National Cemetery in the central city of Daejeon, where the country's independence fighters and war heroes are buried.

Some Japanese officials also have concerns about the prospects of Moon questioning security cooperation amid rising tensions over North Korea's nuclear and missile development.

Despite his firm stance on the sexual slavery issue, the new South Korean president said historical issues must not hinder the countries' bilateral relations and joint efforts to denuclearize North Korea.

While South Korea, China and Japan all share worry about North Korea, ties between South Korea and China have been strained by South Korea's decision to install a USA anti-missile system in defence against the North.

The deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System (Thaad) in the South has angered China, Seoul's major trading partner, which sees the USA system's powerful radar as a threat to its national security.

The deployment of THAAD was agreed a year ago by South Korea's previous administration after North Korea conducted a long-range rocket launch that put an object into space.

For one thing, Seoul has to consider its alliance with the USA and whatever position toward the North President Donald Trump decides to take.

Moon began his first full day in office by shaking hands and taking selfies with supporters near his private Seoul home before heading to the presidential Blue House.

The Thaad missile system, aimed at intercepting attacks from North Korea, was made operational in South Korea last week.

It remains to be seen whether Seoul's new government might reverse the deployment following a re-think promised by Moon's Democratic Party.

The dispute has sparked retaliation against South Korean businesses in China, where South Korean consumer goods and cultural products are hugely popular, along with the canceling of Chinese group tours to South Korea.

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