Published: Thu, May 11, 2017
World | By Lorena Waters

China's Xi says willing to work with SKorea to improve ties

China's Xi says willing to work with SKorea to improve ties

"The National Election Commission, based on the first clause of Article 187 of the Public Official Election Law, determines that the Democratic Party's Moon Jae-in, who gathered the largest number of valid votes, was elected as president", NEC Chairman Kim Yong-deok said in the televised meeting.

He also said he was prepared to go to Pyongyang "if the conditions are right".

Beijing also has its own issues with Seoul.

When it comes to the presidential election in South Korea on Tuesday, the general expectation is that the conservative forces who have ruled the country most of the time may be facing a rout.

Such measures have not historically been popular with conservative administrations in the U.S., however President Donald Trump has vacillated between tough, militaristic talk on the North Korea issue and suggesting he could sit down with Kim himself.

Park was ousted in March over a corruption scandal. China blamed Park, the impeached president, for creating friction in their relations by her decision to allow the deployment of the THAAD, which Beijing says threatens its security.

China's president has set out his opposition to the deployment of a United States missile system, in his first discussion with the new South Korean leader. But challenging Washington over THAAD might be hard for Moon.

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But he favors a softer approach to dealing with North Korea and its nuclear and missile ambitions than his conservative predecessors.

During his campaign, many conservatives anxious that Moon's election would cause problems with Washington, Seoul's most important ally, because of his engagement policy on North Korea would clash with Trump's push to maximize pressures on the country. However, the approach ultimately failed to halt North Korea's nuclear weapons program. The likely victor could be Moon Jae In of the Democratic Party.

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 2.

Abe said he looked forward to working with Moon to improve relations, describing South Korea as one of Japan's most important neighbours.

The conversation came as Abe sought to congratulate the new South Korean leader on his election this week. China contends the system's radar ranges into its territory and threatens its security.

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.

A South Korean presidential spokesman said that the Chinese leader - who initiated the call - "explained the reasons for Beijing's strong and repeated opposition" to the deployment, Yonhap news agency reported.

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