After SKorean leader eyes North trip, Trump offers US invite

Moon celebrates after exit polls show him as the winner of South Korea’s presidential vote

Moon celebrates after exit polls show him as the winner of South Korea’s presidential vote

Beijing has said the system would spy on its territory.

Chinese President Xi Jinping held a phone conversation with newly-elected South Korean President Moon Jae-in here on Thursday.

The Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, which would intercept attacks from North Korea, became operational in South Korea last week.

During the 30-minute talks that began at 10:30 p.m. (Korea time), Moon said, "The South Korea-U.S. alliance is more important than at any other time given the growing uncertainties over the security situation of the Korean Peninsula".

In response, Moon voiced hopes that he could meet Trump in Washington as soon as possible for "heart-to-heart" talks.

South Korea is highly appreciative of China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, and expects it to bring prosperity to countries and regions along its routes, including South Korea and China, Moon said.

The spokesman said: "The Prime Minister called the South Korean President Moon Jae-in earlier this morning to congratulate him on his recent electoral success".

For his part, Moon said South Korea attaches great importance to its relations with China, and is willing to work with the Chinese side to develop bilateral ties and push forward their strategic cooperative partnership.

The talks collapsed in 2008 after North Korea launched a rocket.

During his call with Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe, the two leaders agreed that their countries must not let their hard history hamper co-operation in dealing with North Korea's nuclear program, Moon's office said.

Moon seeks dialogue with the North, while Trump's approach to the wayward regime focuses on "maximum pressure and engagement". He also said he would send a special diplomatic delegation to the U.S.at the "earliest date". "President Moon accepted the invitation", it said.

Japanese officials have described the call as "positive and meaningful", with the two agreeing to cooperate closely to deal with North Korea.

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