Xi 'willing to work' with SK leader

Nothing new is going on in North Korea.

Gwynne Dyer is an independent journalist whose articles are published in 45 countries.

If Mr Moon does becomes the first liberal president in South Korea in nine years, it is thought that he could take a softer stance on North Korea.

It's impossible to say whether that would eventually have led to a less tense and militarised situation in the Korean peninsula, because in the 2008 election the conservatives won and scrapped the Sunshine Policy.

But Moon also has to navigate a complex web of regional issues.

FILE - South Koreans on a bus bid farewell to their North Korean relatives after a rare reunion meeting at Diamond Mountain resort in North Korea, Oct. 26, 2015.

Moon's engagement with North Korea might encourage the Trump administration to change its own policy to a more peaceful one, especially considering that Trump has already indicated he is willing to talk with Kim Jong-un, given certain conditions.

"I will urgently try to solve the security crisis", Moon said in the domed rotunda hall of the parliament building.

Seoul and former colonial power Tokyo are both targeted by the North, but are in dispute over history and Park did not visit Japan while in office.

Moon said in his first speech as president on Wednesday he would immediately begin efforts to defuse security fears on the Korean Peninsula and would negotiate with Washington and Beijing to ease tensions over the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system in the South. It has also been working to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the United States, presenting Trump with perhaps his most pressing security issue.On Thursday, the USA director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, told the Senate Intelligence Committee that North Korea posed "a very significant, potentially existential threat to the United States that has to be addressed". Then suddenly it arrived in the country in March, and was "operational" (at least in theory) by last month. Mr Moon will now have great difficulty in reversing that decision, and the North Koreans are predictably waxing hysterical about it.

Trump upset Seoul when he said in a Reuters interview last month he would like Seoul to pay for the system and further frictions are possible after he said he would either renegotiate or terminate a "horrible" free trade deal. Which suggests that there is no clever plan, just the usual stumbling around in the dark. Moon made a campaign vow to reconsider the Thaad deployment. The Trump administration advocates isolating North Korean officials so that they'll be forced to make concessions ahead of negotiations.

Could he win it? "On the basis of mutual understanding and mutual respect, China will consolidate political mutual trust, properly handle differences, strengthen coordination and cooperation, and promote healthy and stable development of bilateral relations", Xi said.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has tweeted a congratulatory message to Korea's new president in Korean.

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