US President Donald Trump invites new South Korean president to Washington

Her impeachment bolstered the chances of Moon, who has campaigned on promises of transparency and social policies to address inequality and unemployment.

"I will do whatever it takes to help settle peace on the Korean Peninsula", Moon said during a speech at the National Assembly, where he was formally sworn in on Wednesday.

The White House was quick to send a message of congratulation to Mr Moon. "President Moon accepted the invitation", the statement read. No specific timing was set.

"Our two countries have extensive cooperation on political, economic, cultural and people-to-people exchanges in the bilateral, regional and multilateral spheres", he added.

"The North Korean nuclear issue should be solved in a comprehensive and phased manner, and the pressure and sanctions, as well as negotiation, should be combined", Moon Jae-in is quoted as having told Xi in a Blue House statement.

Conservative critics have anxious Moon's rise to power might cause a friction with Trump, who wants to increase pressure on North Korea with the help of China, the North's largest trading partner and aid benefactor. The country hosts some 28,000 US forces.

The Thaad system "is operational and has the ability to intercept North Korean missiles and defend the Republic of Korea", a spokesman for US Forces Korea confirmed on May 2.

He has been critical of the two previous conservative administrations for failing to stop North Korea's weapons development. 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.

The clean candidate ticket brought Moon to power.

Moon Jae-in was born to refugees from North Korea.

But former USA officials held two days of informal talks in Oslo, Norway, this week with a Pyongyang delegation led by Choe Son Hui, a senior diplomat for North America. "I will regularly talk and frequently meet with them", he said. The person wasn't authorized to publicly discuss the diplomacy and demanded anonymity.

"That message of dialogue with the North, however, jars with the United States, which has embarked on a more hardline approach".

Deja vu as softer South Korean leader could alienate ally US
It might be North Korea , which sees Moon as an advocate of a softer approach to ridding the North of nuclear weapons. Moon competes against twelve other candidates but South Korea presidential elections are decided in a single round.

Abella said the Philippine government remains committed to further strengthen relations with South Korea after Moon's win. "If needed, I will fly straight to Washington".

He also said he was prepared to go to Pyongyang "if the conditions are right". Moon also has questioned the deployment of a USA missile defense system the last government rushed into service. China contends the system's radar ranges into its territory and threatens its security.

China is South Korea's largest trading partner, with the latter exporting up to $142 billion each year to the country.

Mr Moon has also promised to shore up a fragile economy, and wants to increase contact with North Korea, in a departure from current policy.

However, at the same time, he maintained advocating South Korean people to have a soft corner for their north Korean counterpart.

Reports state that Moon has already chose to appoint provincial governor Lee Nak-yon as prime minister. His appointment requires parliamentary approval.

Tensions between North Korea and the U.S. go back to the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty. Xi said China was willing to handle disputes with South Korea "appropriately" on the basis of mutual trust and understanding.

Mr Moon also said that he will negotiate with the USA and China, Seoul's top trading partner, over a contentious United States missile-defence system deployed in the South. Beijing says the system allows Washington to spy on China's military operations.

During Thursday's call, Xi reaffirmed China's opposition to the THAAD deployment, Moon's office said.

The decision by the ousted Park's government to host the THAAD system has already proved a headache for Moon as Seoul tries to walk a fine line between Washington, its closest security ally, and Beijing.

Given that, the prospect for improved ties between Seoul and Beijing isn't clear, with some saying China won't back down until it gets a major concession on the system's deployment and others saying China is also eager for improved ties and will settle for less as long as it can save face on the missile-defense issue.

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