SKorea new spy chief credited with inter-Korean summits

The newly elected President of South Korea, Moon Jae-in, has been sworn in as 19th President of the country.

The installation of THAAD began last month amid rising tensions over North Korea's ballistic and nuclear tests. This in turn could set off alarms in a more conservative Washington. However, the election of President Moon Jae-in is threatening to destabilize the allegiance between the two countries.

He wrote in a book published in January South Korea should learn to say "no to America".

"I will become the president for everyone, even those who didn't support me", said Moon, who lost to Park in the 2012 presidential election. The New York Times noted that Moon "favors dialogue with North Korea".

Analysts said Moon's choice of Lee apparently reflects his oft-stated aim of achieving national unity through having figures from different regions in the government.

But challenging Washington on THAAD would be hard for Moon, despite widespread opposition to it in South Korea - especially after Trump suggested South Korea should pay the roughly $1 billion bill for it - and loud protests from China, which claims the system is a security threat.

Park's decision to introduce the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, a US missile defense shield, has complicated situation on the Peninsula and across the wider north-east Asia.

The decision by Moon's predecessor, Park Geun-hye, to allow the base a state-of-the-art missile defense system known by the acronym THAAD in its territory is a major ongoing irritant. Moon made a campaign vow to reconsider the THAAD deployment.

Moon seeks more engagement with the North, while Trump's approach to the wayward regime focuses on "maximum pressure". Moon also said he would review the THAAD deployment.

Many conservatives worry he will revert to a former liberal governments' policy of promoting economic ties with North Korea, which they say helped fund its weapons development, while undermining the all-important alliance with Washington. It's highly unlikely that Moon will pursue the same level of rapprochement that past liberal governments took.

"What people who were protesting wanted was political change, and a natural outcome of that is a change in government", Kang said.

"For peace of the Korean Peninsula, (I will) constantly be working", Moon said after his inauguration Wednesday. Moon has also called for a delay in the installation of a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery here, citing the need to forge public consensus. China is concerned the system could be used to spy on its own military operations.

Recent months have seen widening commercial retaliation against South Korean business interests in China, ranging from the cancellation of visits by popstars and actors to boycotts of the Lotte chain of department stores and the shutdown of work on an amusement park being built in China by the company.

South Korea has been an export-oriented economy.

South Korea's most recent presidents, both of whom were conservatives, were strictly aligned with the US worldwide sanctions strategy. He has suggested revisiting a deal settling the historical dispute related to abuses suffered by Korean women in Japanese military brothels during World War II. Moon has called for a renegotiation of the pact.

In addition to a naval strike group, which includes the large USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier, Washington deployed two supersonic bombers over the peninsula during a joint exercise with South Korea's air force in early May.

To an electorate tired of the corruption that the Park scandal exposed, Moon has promised to improve transparency in government appointments and strengthen regulations on the conglomerates that dominate corporate South Korea.

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