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Xi, Moon agree denuclearising N.Korea 'common goal': Seoul

Moon Jae In swept South Korea's presidential elections Tuesday fuelling hopes among investors of an easing in tensions with the NorthMore

Moon, South Korea's first liberal leader in a decade, assumed presidential duties after the National Election Commission finished counting Tuesday's votes and declared him victor.

Regional experts have believed for months that North Korea was preparing for its sixth nuclear test and was working to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the United States, presenting Trump with one of his most pressing security issues.

The presidential office said in a statement that Lee has extensive knowledge and experience in social and global issues.

Some of what Moon is pitching could indeed ease tensions and potentially create the leeway both sides need to start talking to each other again. No specific timing was set.

Abella said the Philippine government remains committed to further strengthen relations with South Korea after Moon's win. The country hosts some 28,000 USA forces.

The deployment of THAAD was agreed past year by South Korea's previous administration after North Korea conducted a long-range rocket launch that put an object into space. It will be headed by a veteran operations officer to harness and direct the spy agency's efforts in addressing the nuclear and ballistic missile threats. Although not quite a landslide, it is a strong mandate for the liberal's conciliatory approach to North Korea and his pledge to rejuvenate the economy. Moon has a very different perspective, believing confrontation has done nothing to stop North Korea from expanding its nuclear arsenal.

OPINION: Is war coming to North Korea? .

He met leaders of opposition parties before his simple swearing-in ceremony in Parliament, and promised to coordinate better with them on issues of national security. He would make law enforcement offices and state authorities "completely" free from political influence and reform the family-run chaebols to root out collusive practices and relationship between the public and private sector. The U.S. side comprised Suzanne DiMaggio at the New America think tank, former United Nations ambassador Thomas Pickering, retired four-star Adm.

Nonetheless, aside from wanting to restore normal relations and trade with North Korea, Moon wants to have the same with China.

During their first phone conversation, President Moon said the South Korea-U.S. alliance is more important than ever as uncertainties swirl around the Korean peninsula.

"I am willing to go anywhere for the peace of the Korean peninsula if needed".

"If necessary, I will fly to Washington, Beijing and Tokyo, and if conditions arise, I will go to Pyongyang", said Mr Moon, who favours dialogue with the North while maintaining pressure and sanctions. Moon also appealed to Beijing to stop its apparent economic retaliation against South Korean businesses over THAAD.

The government of his impeached predecessor, who is in jail awaiting a corruption trial, closed it past year following a nuclear test and satellite launch by the North. The then caretaker administration in South Korea accelerated the THAAD roll-out, despite widespread protests against the deployment. China contends the system's radar ranges into its territory and threatens its security. Therefore it is time for the new president in Seoul to rethink about how to deal with a THAAD anti-missile system in South Korea ...