New South Korean president vows to address North Korea, broader tensions 'urgently'
South Korea's new liberal President Moon Jae-in was sworn in on Wednesday and vowed to immediately tackle the difficult tasks of addressing North Korea's advancing nuclear ambitions and soothing tensions with the United States and China, APA reports quoting Reuters.
Moon said in his first speech as president he would begin efforts to defuse security tensions on the Korean peninsula and negotiate with Washington and Beijing to ease a row over a U.S. missile defense system being deployed in the South.
In a phone call congratulating Moon's election, U.S. President Donald Trump agreed with the new South Korean leader to cooperate on North Korea's nuclear issue and invited him to visit Washington, the South Korean presidential office said.
Trump reaffirmed the U.S.-South Korea alliance was strong and said North Korea's nuclear issue was a difficult problem but one that could be resolved, the Blue House said in a statement.
In his first key appointments, Moon named two liberal veterans with ties to the "Sunshine Policy" of engagement with North Korea from the 2000s to the posts of prime minister and spy chief.
Moon named Suh Hoon, a career spy agency official and a veteran of inter-Korea ties, as the head of the National Intelligence Service. Suh was instrumental in setting up two previous summits between the North and South.
Veteran liberal politician Lee Nak-yon was nominated to serve as prime minister. Now a regional governor, Lee was a political ally of the two former presidents who held the summits with the North in 2000 and 2007.
Lee's appointment requires parliamentary approval.
Moon was expected to fill the remaining cabinet and presidential staff appointments swiftly to bring an end to a power vacuum left by the removal of Park Geun-hye in March in a corruption scandal that rocked South Korea's business and political elite.
"I will urgently try to solve the security crisis," Moon said in the domed rotunda hall of the parliament building. "If needed, I will fly straight to Washington. I will go to Beijing and Tokyo and, if the conditions are right, to Pyongyang also."
Spy chief nominee Suh said Moon could go to Pyongyang if it was clear the visit would help resolve the North Korean nuclear crisis and ease military tension on the Korean peninsula.
North Korea is likely to welcome Moon's election but its state media made no mention of his victory on Wednesday.
The deployment of the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System (THAAD) in the South has angered China, Seoul's major trading partner, which sees the system's powerful radar as a threat to its security.
Related news releases
- 20.02.2018Palestine Ready to Exchange Minor Territories With Israel - Abbas
- 20.02.2018Turkish President: Syrian forces tried to enter Afrin, retreated after Turkey's shelling
- 20.02.2018YPG/PKK-Daesh terror groups shell Turkey's south Hatay
- 20.02.2018Maldives leader seeks approval to extend state of emergency
- 19.02.2018Three Iranian police killed in clashes with Sufi protesters
- 19.02.2018Islamic State kills 27 Iraqi militiamen near Kirkuk
- 19.02.2018Israel, Egypt sign $15bn natural gas purchase agreement
- 19.02.2018Kurdish region flight ban to be lifted soon: Iraqi PM
- 18.02.2018Daesh doesn’t represent Islam: Iraqi PM
- 18.02.20182 Turkish soldiers martyred, one injured in operations
- 17.02.2018Turkish, Iraqi PMs stress cooperation against terrorism
- 17.02.20184 Israeli troops injured by explosive device near Gaza
- 17.02.2018Turkish PM: 'We have given terrorist organizations the Ottoman slap'
- 16.02.2018PYD/PKK terrorist admits to posing as civilian
- 16.02.20187 Turkish soldiers injured in Operation Olive Branch
- 15.02.2018Indonesia charges Daesh-linked group for deadly bombing
- 15.02.2018Lebanese PM rule out Hezbollah alliance in May election
- 15.02.2018US secretary of state meets with Jordan king in Amman
- 14.02.2018Knesset rejects bill recognizing so-called Armenian Genocide
- 14.02.2018No cases of human infection with H5N6 bird flu reported in Iran – official
- 14.02.2018Over 20 undocumented migrants held in Turkey
- 14.02.2018Turkey's president speaks to Saudi counterpart
- 14.02.2018Taliban confirms senior leader killed by US air strike
- 14.02.2018İraqi Turkmen Front officer attacked in Kirkuk
- 13.02.2018Cyclone wreaks havoc in Tonga's capital, parliament flattened, homes wrecked
- 13.02.2018Russians killed in clash with U.S.-led forces in Syria, say associates
- 12.02.2018Israel's Netanyahu says discussing settlement annexation with U.S.
- 11.02.2018Netanyahu speaks to Russia’s Putin about Iran
- 11.02.2018Putin Urges Netanyahu to Avoid Escalation in Syria
- 10.02.201811 Turkish soldiers killed, 11 injured in Afrin - UPDATED
- 10.02.2018Hundreds protesting in Seoul against N. Korea's participation in Olympic
- 10.02.201815 PYD/PKK, Daesh terrorists neutralized in Afrin
- 10.02.2018Hong Kong bus overturns killing 18
- 10.02.201848 Daesh-linked suspects arrested across Turkey
- 10.02.201827 reported dead in bus crash in Indonesia
- 10.02.20182 Turkish pilots martyred in Syria helicopter crash
- 10.02.2018Turkish military, Free Syrian Army free another village
- 10.02.2018North Korea's Kim Jong-un invites South Korean president to Pyongyang
- 10.02.2018South Korea's Moon hosts talks with North Korean leader's sister
- 10.02.2018Pence avoids Olympics encounter with North Korean official as Korean athletes march together
- 11.05.2017Five PKK terrorists killed in SE Turkey
- 11.05.2017US-led coalition warplane strikes Syria’s Raqqah
- 11.05.2017Deadly earthquake has hit China’s western Xinjiang region
- 10.05.2017New S. Korean president says to visit DPRK under right conditions
- 10.05.2017Moon Jae-In becomes new South Korean president - NEC
- 09.05.2017Over 100 IS militants killed in airstrikes in Iraq's Anbar