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South Korea's President Is Firm on Denuclearization

12 May 2017

First it was an off-the-cuff offer from then-candidate Donald Trump to have hamburgers in Washington.

"We can't deny that the ruler of the North Korean people is Kim Jong Un", he said in March.

The problem is, they pretty much never are.

Trump said the relationship is not simply good, but great, and that their two presidential election victories should be celebrated together, according to the report.

That could slow any attempt at rapprochement with the North's unpredictable leader, Kim Jong Un, at a time of broad global support for sanctions.

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"I will quickly move to solve the crisis in national security", Moon said in his acceptance speech Wednesday.

In response, Mr Moon said that most South Koreans do not accept the deal reached in late 2015 to settle the issue of Korean women forced to work at Japan's wartime military brothels.

He also said he was prepared to go to Pyongyang "if the conditions are right". I will go to Beijing and I will go to Tokyo.

A lot has happened since the sunshine days, however. And Pyongyang is buried much deeper than before in sanctions and global isolation.

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), meanwhile, chose the day after Moon's election to announce it had established a Korea Mission Centre "to harness the full resources, capabilities, and authorities of the Agency in addressing the nuclear and ballistic missile threat posed by North Korea". Washington has asserted that all options are open in dealing with the North Korean imbroglio, including the use of force.

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North Korea has conducted two nuclear tests and test-fired almost 30 missiles since a year ago.

Both Mr Moon and Mr Xi agreed that denuclearising North Korea was a "common goal". And on that front, Moon's options to generate big changes could be severely limited.

Moon asked Abe to cooperate in tackling issues arising from Japan's colonization of Korea from 1910 to 1945 so bilateral ties can develop further. On the other hand, I will seriously negotiate with the USA and China over the issue of THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense). Moon said during the campaign for this week's snap election that he wanted to review that decision.

Stangarone also added that whatever global plans Moon has, the economic situation in South Korea and the fact that he was elected following an impeachment mean that domestic issues will constrain what he wants to do.

Moon expressed his hope for a meeting with Modi in the near future. He had earlier said that dialogue would become hard if the North raised tensions with another nuclear test.

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