New South Korean president vows to address North Korea, broader tensions 'urgently'

May 11 Chinese President Xi Jinping discussed nuclear tensions on the Korean peninsula with South Korea's new liberal President Moon Jae-in on Thursday, state television said, as Moon set about addressing a raft of problems posed by the North's defiance.

In a congratulatory phone call U.S. President Donald Trump agreed with Moon to cooperate on the North Korean nuclear issue and invited him to visit Washington, the South Korean presidential office said.

The two leaders agreed to continue to strengthen the US-South Korea alliance and to deepen the enduring friendship between the two countries.

China also hopes the new South Korean government attaches importance to China's concerns and takes steps to promote the stable and healthy development of ties, Xi said.

Moon told Abe to "look straight at history" and not make the past "a barrier", though he raised South Korea's dissatisfaction with a 2015 agreement meant to put to rest a dispute over Japanese compensation for South Korean women forced to work in Japanese brothels before and during World War Two, Korea's presidential office said.

The Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) missile system, aimed at intercepting attacks from North Korea, was made operational in South Korea last week. Moon advocates a less confrontational policy.

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 the conditions shape up, I will go to Pyongyang".

Moon said he will send a delegation to Beijing to discuss both North Korea and THAAD.

Suh Hoon, a career spy agency official who was instrumental in setting up two previous summits between the North and South, was named to head the National Intelligence Service.

Moon explained the difficulties faced by South Korean companies that were doing business in China and asked for Xi's "special attention" to ease those concerns, Yoon said.

Thaad was deployed to South Korea by the United States in response to North Korea's increased missile and nuclear tests but the defence system has drawn sharp opposition from China and Russian Federation as their territories are within the system's range, according to CNN.

During Thursday's call, Xi reaffirmed China's opposition to the THAAD deployment, Moon's office said. To his rivals, Moon said, "We are partners who must lead a new Republic of Korea".

China says the system does little to curb the threat posed by North Korea's nuclear and missile programmes, which it has been pressing ahead with in defiance of US pressure and United Nations sanctions. 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!"

However, the broadcast did not elaborate on when or how the photos were taken, the officials said. Moon made a campaign vow to reconsider THAAD.

The North Koreans often use the occasional talks to take the temperature of the US government, since the two sides have had little direct contact in recent years.