South Korea's Moon, Trump agree to closely cooperate on North Korea crisis - Blue House
15 May, 2017, 20:13
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.
China has engaged in economic retaliation against Korea over the deployment of the USA -led Thaad antimissile system in Seongju County, North Gyeongsang, which it says goes against its security interests.
U.S. President Donald Trump, who spoke with Moon on Wednesday, this month opened the door to meeting North Korea's Kim Jong Un, saying he would be honored to meet Kim under the right circumstances.
The two Asian neighbors have experienced a chill in relations as Beijing has strongly opposed the installation of the THAAD battery for fear it could hurt its security and carried out retaliatory economic measures against South Korean businesses.
Trump administration officials may worry about Moon's softer approach to North Korea, but they also likely know he won't push for any radical policies on the North or any other issues that would hurt the decades-long alliance.
Trump and Moon held a 30-minute phone call at 10:30 p.m. Wednesday in which the two leaders agreed to hold a summit soon to discuss North Korea and other pending issues.
"Threats from North Korea's nuclear and missile development have entered a new stage", Japan's Abe told Moon in their telephone call, according to Japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Hagiuda. Trump raised questions in the South about his understanding and commitment to the two countries' alliance when he said in a Reuters interview that he would like Seoul to pay for the missile defence system, which he said cost $1 trillion.
Relations between Beijing and Seoul have deteriorated over the issue.
During his presidential campaign, Moon announced his plan to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, according to which South Korea would break out of the diplomacy and security crisis by taking the lead in pushing for North Korea's denuclearization. While some are anxious that Moon and Trump's summit might take place too soon, it's critical for the two leaders to quickly meet, share their opinions and find a compromise in light of the vacuum in the government that lasted for almost half a year and everything that has happened in the meantime.
"The North Korean situation is a very, very risky one for South Korea, for Japan, frankly for China and for the rest of the world".
Chinese leader Xi Jinping called Moon Thursday to congratulate him for his electoral victory.
Moon explained the difficulties faced by South Korean companies that were doing business in China and asked for Xi's "special attention" to ease those concerns, Yoon said. The country hosts some 28,000 USA forces.