New South Korea president vows to address North Korea, broader tensions

Here are the four problems Moon pledged to address while campaigning for the post of new South Korean president. The call to Moon took place just a day after he took office and comes amid increased regional tensions over North Korea as well as the deployment of a US missile-defense shield in South Korea. This in turn could set off alarms in a more conservative Washington. "I would like to closely cooperate with the president to achieve the denuclearization of North Korea", Abe told Moon. That was when lawmakers voted to impeach President Park Geun-hye. I will go to Beijing and I will go to Tokyo.

During a readout of his call with Moon Jae-in, the leaders "agreed to continue to strengthen the United States-Republic of Korea alliance and to deepen the enduring friendship between our two countries". Moon also appealed to Beijing to stop its apparent economic retaliation against South Korean businesses over THAAD. But challenging Washington over THAAD might be hard for Moon. "We congratulate President-elect Moon Jae-in and join the people of South Korea in celebrating their peaceful, democratic transition of power", Spicer told reporters.

Moon was inaugurated shortly after election officials confirmed his victory.

During Thursday's call, Xi reaffirmed China's opposition to the THAAD deployment, Moon's office said.

But North Korea's nuclear weapons program has made remarkable progress since Moon worked for a liberal government that engaged the North with big aid shipments and economic cooperation projects 10 years ago.

Mr Xi officially invited Mr Moon to visit Beijing, Mr Yoon added. If needed I will fly to Washington immediately.

Beijing calls THAAD a threat to its security and has retaliated against some South Korean firms. The usual circumstances of the election and immediate transition into office meant Moon inherited several officials from Park's government, and he has moved quickly to replace them. It is a historic moment for the progressives in South Korean politics. Moon also promised the South Koreans he will "put together a huge stimulus package, to create 810,000 public-sector positions and to reduce long working hours".

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 defense against the North.

The missile test was carried amid China's vociferous protests over THAAD interceptor missiles in South Korea, whose powerful radars could see through most of part of China including its missile development programme. The panel claimed that the Japanese state and military were involved in the recruitment of comfort women, and that Japan must be held legally responsible for the inhumane action.

Mainstream historians say up to 200,000 women, mostly from Korea but also China and other parts of Asia, were forced to work in Japanese military brothels during World War II.

Related news