South Korea's leader willing to visit North, talk to U.S., China

Former human rights lawyer Moon Jae In was Wednesday sworn in as South Korea's new president, hours after the country's election commission confirmed his victory in the polls. "And when the conditions are right, I will also go to Pyongyang", Moon said during his speech. Trump stressed the importance of the alliance with South Korea, but also said that South Korea should pay for the anti-missile THAAD system the USA has deployed on South Korean soil.

Conservative Hong Joon-Pyo - who dubs Moon a "pro-Pyongyang leftist" was far behind on 25.2 percent, with centrist Ahn Cheol-Soo third on 21.5 percent.

Veteran intelligence officer Seo Hoon, who has substantial experience in dealing with North Korea in negotiations, was appointed chief of Seoul's spy agency.

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

They believe that sanctions alone have failed to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons programs.

"If needed I will fly to Washington immediately", he said. Moon also said he would review the THAAD deployment. "It is crucial that Trump and the next South Korean president strike up instant, positive chemistry in their first meeting to help work through any bilateral differences and together deal with the North Korean challenge". China has criticized the deployment of THAAD as an act of aggression aimed at China and retaliated economically by slowing Chinese tourism to South Korea. A written certificate confirming Moon's election was presented to the new President.

The Russian leader wished Moon Jae-in good health, wellbeing and successful work as President of South Korea.

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A former South Korean ambassador to the Vatican, who declined to be named, told ucanews.com, that Moon "won his battle on the ground during the political campaign".

Part of the USA missile interception system has been transported to the THAAD deployment site in the country's southeastern region, causing strong protests from anti-THAAD activists and residents.

His election comes amid heightened tensions over North Korea's nuclear programme.

"Also, he is said to be the best person to help realize the president's wish to improve the North-South Korean relations as he has much experience such affairs as he has also revised the law on support for (South Korean firms) at the Kaesong joint industrial complex", it added.

The White House congratulated Moon, saying it looked forward to working with him to strengthen the longstanding US-South Korea alliance.

Moon thanked the millions of people who staged peaceful protests for months calling for the ouster of Park, who was impeached and arrested in March over a corruption scandal.

"In face of the impeachment and arrest of an incumbent president, our people opened the path toward the future for the Republic of Korea", said Moon, referring to South Korea's formal name.

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