Moon, Turnbull agree to jointly fight trade protectionism

Testing the THAAD missile system which is now deployed on the Korean Peninsula.     EPA  Missile Defence Agency Handout
Testing the THAAD missile system which is now deployed on the Korean Peninsula. EPA Missile Defence Agency Handout
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20 May, 2017

But if US President Donald Trump tries to make South Korea pay for America's recently deployed Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system, Mr Moon will have to refuse.

South Korea's new liberal President Moon Jae-in was sworn in on Wednesday and vowed to immediately tackle the hard tasks of addressing North Korea's advancing nuclear ambitions and soothing tensions with the United States and China.

"President Moon said he understands China's interest in the THAAD deployment and its concerns, and said he hopes the two countries can swiftly get on with communication to further improve each other's understanding", Yoon said.

The South Korean leader said he plans to send a special envoy to China to discuss Thaad and North Korea. 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.

The North's state-run Korean Central TV Broadcasting Station aired two pictures showing what were described as THAAD components installed at a golf course at the southern South Korean county of Seongju during a TV talk show aired on Monday.

Theresa May and South Korea's new president have agreed the need for a "robust response" to aggression from Kim Jong Un.

South Korea's new president has vowed to immediately tackle the issues regarding their northern neighbor.

On Thursday, US director of national intelligence Dan Coats said North Korea posed "a very significant, potentially existential threat to the United States that has to be addressed".

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It has conducted its fifth nuclear test and a series of missile launches since the start of a year ago, ratcheting up tension.

Domestically, Moon begins his term facing multiple challenges, including the aftermath of the huge corruption scandal that saw his conservative predecessor Park Geun-Hye impeached and swept him to power, but leaves the country bitterly divided.

"I take this office empty-handed, and I will leave the office empty-handed", President Moon said during his May 10 inauguration speech, according to Reuters. "If the conditions shape up, I will go to Pyongyang", Mr Moon said.

According to government officials, Abe called for the construction of future-oriented relations between Japan and South Korea.

North Korea is likely to welcome Moon's election but its state media made no mention of his victory on Wednesday. The two leaders also agreed to strengthen their alliance, the White House said. South Koreans also are concerned about the economy, job growth, trade ties and opportunities for young people.

Moon said Pyongyang's nuclear issue should be addressed "comprehensively and gradually", not only with pressure but also through talks, because current global sanctions are also aimed at guiding Kim's regime to return to dialogue, Yoon said.

Moon championed an economic platform that called for fiscal stimulus of over $8 billion, wants to create over 800,000 public sector jobs, and seeks to expanded social benefits.


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