WASHINGTON — The Latest on the Trump administration’s response to the victory of Moon Jae-in to be South Korea’s new president (all times local):
President Donald Trump is extending an invitation to the new president of South Korea.
The White House says Trump spoke with President Moon Jae-in to congratulate him on his election victory and his country’s “peaceful, democratic transition of power.”
Trump and Moon agreed to continue to work toward strengthening relations between the two countries. The date was not set for a potential visit by Moon.
A liberal leader in South Korea seeks warmer ties with North Korea, clashing with the Republican in the White House intent on snuffing out the North’s nuclear weapons program.
The election victory of Moon Jae-in (MOON JAAH IHN) in South Korea confronts Washington with a scenario it faced a decade-and-a-half ago, when differences on how to deal with Pyongyang fueled tension with an ally that hosts U.S. forces.
Only now, the stakes are much higher.
North Korea is approaching the capability to threaten America with a nuclear-tipped missile. President Donald Trump wants to tighten an economic vise around the country and has even raised the possibility of military force. Moon has a very different perspective, believing confrontation has done nothing to stop North Korea from expanding its nuclear arsenal.