S. Korea's Moon to send delegation to China amid frayed ties

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

In their first telephone conversation, Moon and Xi "agreed that denuclearising the Korean peninsula is the two countries' common goal", the South Korean president's spokesman Yoon Young-Chan told reporters. This, in turn, could alarm a more conservative Washington.

"The cooperation between our two countries is good, but I think the potential is much higher".

It was the first such "track two" dialogue between the US and North Korea since Trump took office.

Therefore, if an agreement can not be reached, South Korean-US cooperation on anti-North Korean sanctions may actually be strengthened under the new president.

Just a day after taking office, there was already a different tone from Moon towards Japan compared with his impeached predecessor Park Geun-hye. "I will go to Beijing and Tokyo, and even to Pyongyang under the right conditions.". Moon said during the campaign for this week's snap election that he wanted to review that decision.

South Korean activists hold a banner during a rally against the plan to deploy the US -built Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, near the USA embassy in Seoul, July 11, 2016. But challenging Washington over THAAD might be hard for Moon.

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

He and Xi agreed to exchange special envoys soon and Moon said he also planned to send a delegation to Beijing to discuss the North Korean nuclear problem and the Thaad deployment, according to Yoon.

Others suggest that Moon's election should not be misinterpreted to mean that Seoul will be willing to make unilateral concessions regarding Pyongyang and its nuclear and missile programs.

Moreover, although Trump has used some tough rhetoric when it comes to North Korea and its leader, the USA government has wavered multiple times on the matter.

South Korean experts say Moon will try to show he's making efforts to soothe Chinese anger but that it's too late to call for THAAD's withdrawal.

China has denied it is retaliating against South Korean businesses. Chinese group tours to South Korea have also been canceled, while anti-Korean sentiment has proliferated online.

"There has never been a visit of the president of South Korea to Israel (so far)", he also underlined, expressing hopes that President Moon could be the first South Korean president to visit Israel.

Japan has repeatedly insisted the agreement is irreversible despite the protests of now-elderly former "comfort women".

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