DENUCLEARISING NORTH A ‘COM­MON GOAL’

In call with Xi, Moon pro­poses del­e­ga­tion to Bei­jing to dis­cuss THAAD, North Korea

New Straits Times - - News -

SEOUL

Ties be­tween Seoul and Bei­jing have soured over the South’s de­ploy­ment of a con­tro­ver­sial United States anti-mis­sile sys­tem aimed at guard­ing against threats from the nu­clear-armed North.

China sees the de­ploy­ment of the Ter­mi­nal High Al­ti­tude Area De­fence (THAAD) sys­tem as a threat to its mil­i­tary ca­pa­bil­ity and has slapped mea­sures against South Korean busi­nesses seen as eco­nomic re­tal­i­a­tion.

In their first phone con­ver­sa­tion, the two lead­ers “agreed that denuclearising the Korean penin­sula was the two coun­tries’ “com­mon goal”, Moon’s spokesman, Yoon Young-Chan, said.

Moon, who took of­fice on Wed­nes­day, favours en­gage­ment with the North, whose key diplo­matic backer is China, to bring it

Lavrov, who ear­lier met Sec­re­tary of State Rex Tiller­son, said his dis­cus­sions with mem­bers of the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion con­vinced him they were peo­ple who wanted to cut deals and solve prob­lems.

The White House said Trump “raised the pos­si­bil­ity of broader co­op­er­a­tion on re­solv­ing con­flicts in the Mid­dle East and else­where” and sought to build a bet­ter re­la­tion­ship the coun­tries. to the ne­go­ti­at­ing ta­ble over its nu­clear and mis­sile am­bi­tions.

He pre­vi­ously ex­pressed am­biva­lence over the THAAD sys­tem and told Xi he was “well aware” of Chi­nese con­cerns about it, call­ing for bi­lat­eral talks to “in­crease un­der­stand­ing over the is­sue”.

Trump un­der­scored “the need for Rus­sia to rein in the As­sad regime, Iran and Ira­nian prox­ies”, the White House said.

Mean­while, the Se­nate in­tel­li­gence com­mit­tee sub­poe­naed for­mer Trump na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser Michael Flynn for doc­u­ments re­lated to the panel’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Rus­sia’s elec­tion med­dling.

Flynn was fired by Trump af­ter less than a month on the job for

Dur­ing the 40-minute con­ver­sa­tion, he also pro­posed send­ing a spe­cial del­e­ga­tion to Bei­jing that would “ex­clu­sively dis­cuss the THAAD and the North’s nu­clear is­sues”, Yoon said.

Xi of­fi­cially in­vited Moon to visit Bei­jing, Yoon said. AFP mis­lead­ing Vice-Pres­i­dent Mike Pence and top of­fi­cials about his com­mu­ni­ca­tions dur­ing the pres­i­den­tial transition with Rus­sia’s am­bas­sador to the US.

In Jan­uary, US in­tel­li­gence agen­cies con­cluded that Putin had or­dered an ef­fort to dis­rupt the 2016 elec­tion, in­clud­ing hack­ing into Demo­cratic Party emails and leak­ing them, with the aim of help­ing Trump. Agen­cies

AFP PIC

United States Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump de­scribed his meet­ing with Rus­sian

For­eign Min­is­ter Sergei Lavrov at the White House on Wed­nes­day as ‘very, very good’.

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