China's Xi discusses nuclear issue with new S.Korean president

Washington says the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (Thaad) system will play a vital role in curbing the missile threat from Pyongyang, but Beijing says that the system's radar affects its security.

Beijing may also be heartened by renewed South Korean outreach to North Korea because that could divert attention from China's own role as the North's most important diplomatic and economic partner.

He also told President Xi that the controversy over THAAD could be resolved much more efficiently if North Korea would stop its missile tests, the latest of which occured less than two weeks ago.

North Korean state media reported the election of the South's new left-leaning president Moon Jae-In after a two-day delay, but at unusual length. Moon advocates a less confrontational policy.

"North and South Korea should seek dialogue and negoti-ations at various levels", it added. His appointment requires parliamentary approval.

Many see Moon's manner as a refreshing break from his disgraced, jailed predecessor Park Geun-hye, whom critics saw as aloof and autocratic. "If needed, I will fly straight to Washington".

Trump administration officials may worry about Moon's softer approach to North Korea, but they also likely know he won't push for any radical policies on the North or any other issues that would hurt the decades-long alliance.

The warning came after Mr Moon spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping about the escalating situation on the Korean peninsula, amid fears of nuclear war.

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North Korea's heightened threat could change Moon's calculus once in power.

It said the centre would gather experienced officers from across the Central Intelligence Agency in one entity "to bring their expertise and creativity to bear against the North Korea target". China denies it has done anything to hurt South Korean businesses.

Tensions have threatened to spill over in the wake of the deployment of the THAAD system, which has angered both North Korea and China.

Abe also said he'd like to host a trilateral summit in Tokyo with his Chinese and South Korean peers as soon as possible, and hold a bilateral meeting with Moon as well. Seoul has raised suspicions that Beijing is retaliating against plans for THAAD by limited Chinese tour group visits to South Korea.

In a statement released after Moon's election victory became clear on Tuesday, Abe said he looked forward to cooperating with Moon to "further contribute to peace and prosperity in the region".

"I will quickly move to solve the crisis in national security", Moon said in his acceptance speech Wednesday. Moon has called for a renegotiation of the pact.

The US is the South's security guarantor and has 28,500 troops stationed in the country, but Seoul was startled when Mr Trump suggested it should pay for the $1 billion THAAD system.

While Washington is pushing for stepped-up pressure on Pyongyang, an unofficial U.S. delegation including former senior United States officials held informal talks in Oslo on Monday and Tuesday with North Korean diplomats, including Choe Son-hui, director-general of the North Korean Foreign Ministry's North America section.

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