Iran's Rouhani congratulates South Korea's Moon on presidential victory

Mr Moon Jae-in first spoke to Chinese President Xi Jinping and later to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, about how to respond to North Korea rapidly developing nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions.

Former presidents Roh Moo-hyun (2003-08) and Park Geun-hye (2013-16) each visited the United States to meet the American president two and a half months after taking office, in May 2003 and May 2013, respectively.

Moon said he planned to send a special envoy to Russian Federation in the near future. He also said he was prepared to go to Pyongyang "if the conditions are right".

North Korea last week accused the Central Intelligence Agency of plotting with the South to assassinate Kim using a biochemical weapon, an allegation impossible to verify - and following the killing of his half-brother Kim Jong-nam in Malaysia with a banned nerve agent, a murder widely blamed on Pyongyang. Lee Sun-jin, chairman of South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff, and he visited a national cemetery in Seoul where he wrote in a visitor book: "A country worth being proud of; a strong and reliable president!"

Regardless, talks will happen; Moon has reportedly tapped a special envoy to China to begin discussions, to include THAAD and the nuclear crisis, as soon as Saturday.

"I hope Russian Federation will play a constructive role to help place North Korea back on the track to denuclearization". Moon took office instantly, without a transitional period.

Moon and Trump may also disagree on the US missile defense system THAAD.

China says the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) undermines its security as its powerful radar can probe deep into its territory.

Moon came to power with a promise to review the system and he told Xi North Korea must cease making provocations before tension over the deployment could be resolved, officials said.

A delegation led by a lawmaker of the South's ruling Democratic Party, Park Byeong-seug, will attend the Belt and Road Summit in the Chinese capital on Sunday and Monday, according to a diplomatic source and a South Korean media report.

Xi told Moon South Korea and China should respect each other's concerns, set aside differences, seek common ground and handle disputes appropriately, China's foreign ministry said.

Moon has previously expressed ambivalence over the THAAD system and told Xi he was "well aware" of Chinese concerns about it.

China has denied it is retaliating against South Korean businesses.

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