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South Korea's Progressive New President Moon Jae-in Is Open to Talks in Pyongyang About Nukes

    A supporter takes a selfie with the freshly elected Moon Jae-in. (Park Young-tae / Newsis via AP)
 

    A supporter takes a selfie with the freshly elected Moon Jae-in. (Park Young-tae / Newsis via AP)

South Korea’s newly elected president, Moon Jae-in, is willing to talk with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un regarding Kim’s nuclear weapons program. Tuesday — the day he was elected — Moon announced that “under the right conditions” he could open discussions with Pyongyang, a stance some believe could put the U.S. ally at odds with the Trump administration as it considers military intervention in the region.

From The Associated Press:

In a speech at the National Assembly hours after being declared the winner of Tuesday’s election, Moon pledged to work for peace on the Korean Peninsula amid growing worry over the North’s expanding nuclear weapons and missiles program.

“I will quickly move to solve the crisis in national security. I am willing to go anywhere for the peace of the Korean Peninsula — if needed, I will fly immediately to Washington. I will go to Beijing and I will go to Tokyo. If the conditions shape up, I will go to Pyongyang,” Moon said.

Moon, whose victory capped one of the most turbulent political stretches in the nation’s recent history and set up its first liberal rule in a decade, assumed presidential duties early in the morning after the National Election Commission finished counting and declared him winner of the special election necessitated by the ousting of conservative Park Geun-hye. … Many analysts say Moon likely won’t pursue drastic rapprochement policies because North Korea’s nuclear program has progressed significantly since he was in the Roh government a decade ago.

A big challenge will be U.S. President Donald Trump, who has proven himself unconventional in his approach to North Korea, swinging between intense pressure and threats and offers to talk.

Read more here.

— Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata

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