Russian, South Korean presidents hold telephone conversation

South Korea's President to send delegation to China amid frayed ties

Moon was part of the South's last liberal government, which pursued a "Sunshine policy" of reconciliation and dialogue with the North, and is widely expected to shift away Park's hardline approach.

Since North Korea's fifth nuclear test, the United States decision to deploy the THAAD missile defense system in South Korea and the inauguration of President Donald Trump, it's fair to say that the Korean Peninsula is in the gravest predicament it has been in for decades.

Meanwhile, North Korea sent a rare letter of protest to the US House of Representatives on Friday warning that a new package of tougher sanctions would only spur its development of nuclear weapons, North Korea's state media reported.

Moon has taken a more conciliatory line with North Korea than his conservative predecessors and advocates engagement.

"I will go to Beijing and Tokyo and, if the conditions are right, to Pyongyang also".

Regional experts have believed for months that North Korea is preparing for its sixth nuclear test. An early summit between Moon and Trump began to take shape during a phone call between the two leaders on the evening of May 10.

US officials have said they see no value in resuming global talks with North Korea under current circumstances and that Pyongyang must make clear it is committed to denuclearization.

While South Korea, China and Japan all share worry about North Korea, ties between South Korea and China have been strained by South Korea's decision to install a US anti-missile system in defense against the North.

Yoon Young-chan told a press conference here on Thursday that President Moon would dispatch separate delegations to discuss THAAD and the DPRK's nuclear program with their Chinese counterparts, although the two issues will be dealt with together.

In their telephone call on Thursday, Moon told Xi he " understands China's interest in the Thaad deployment and its concerns", Yoon said earlier.

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

Moon said he planned to send a special envoy to Russian Federation in the near future.

The two Asian neighbors have experienced a chill in relations as Beijing has strongly opposed the installation of the THAAD battery for fear it could hurt its security and carried out retaliatory economic measures against South Korean businesses.



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