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China Hopeful New South Korean
President Can Help Ease Regional Tensions

By Stephen Lendman

On Wednesday, Moon Jae-In was sworn in as South Korea’s new president.

He supports dialogue with Pyongyang, expressed willingness to visit the DPRK and improve relations provided nuclear tests stop.

After his election, he said “I will quickly move to solve the crisis in national security. I am willing to go anywhere for peace on 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.”

He’ll “sincerely negotiate” with Washington over its controversial THAAD missile system deployment on South Korean territory, endangering the country, angering China and Russia.

His party has only 120 out of 300 National Assembly seats, so he’ll need opposition support for policies he favors.

“We are partners who must lead a new Republic of Korea,” he said, adding “(w)e must put the days of fierce competition behind and hold hands marching forward” - much easier said than achieving, especially with enormous US pressure to maintain hostility toward Pyongyang and support its China policy.

On Thursday, Moon spoke with China’s Xi Jinping. Both leaders agreed to work toward maintaining peace on the peninsula.

According to Moon’s spokesman Yoon Young-chan, “denuclearizing (it) is the two countries’ common goal.” Xi stressed the threat of US THAAD missiles, threatening China’s security, heightening tensions, wanting them removed.

He expressed willingness to work with Moon to strengthen mutual trust and resolve contentious issues. Both leaders looked forward to meeting face-to-face.

China seeks mutual cooperation with all nations, along with regional integration through its Belt and Road Initiative - encouraging all countries to be involved constructively in the region’s future.

America wants unchallenged global dominance. Its Asia-Pacific Stability Initiative (ASPI) is hugely destabilizing.

Washington will invest around $8 billion to increase its regional military footprint over the next five years - besides Trump wanting an additional $54 billion in defense spending for the next fiscal year.

China’s Global Times (GT) asked if Moon intends “chart(ing) (an) independent diplomatic course for South Korea.”

He represents a possible “long-awaited olive branch” to Pyongyang from Seoul, GT said. In return for so-called US protection, it “has to serve” Washington’s interests at the expense of its own.

“(S)tay(ing) aloof with China and blindly follow(ing) the US…South Korea has almost lost its flexibility,” GT stressed. Moon said his nation should learn to say no to Washington.

“If (his) vision proves broad, he will lead South Korea out of the current strategic dilemma and leave a historic legacy,” GT explained.

Otherwise, tensions will stay heightened, war on the peninsula a major risk, the entire region threatened by reckless US imperial policies.

China hopes for improved relations with Seoul. Washington opposes anything diminishing its regional influence and dominance - opposing Seoul playing “a bridging role” between China and America.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.