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Emergency meetings held in Seoul after Donald Trump wins U.S. presidency

South Korea called for the continuation of joint coordination on North Korea policy as financial markets took a dive on Wednesday.

By Elizabeth Shim
Emergency meetings held in Seoul after Donald Trump wins U.S. presidency
A North Korean soldier stands guard at the joint security area of Panmunjom in South Korea. Seoul held emergency meetings immediately after the U.S. presidential election. File Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI | License Photo

SEOUL, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Republican President-elect Donald Trump's victory caused panic in South Korea's financial markets and prompted Seoul's national security council to hold an emergency meeting.

During the briefing on Wednesday, South Korean President Park Geun-hye asked the council to "closely monitor developing relations with the [incoming] Trump administration," local news network TV Chosun reported.

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But after election results were announced, Park also sent a congratulatory message to Trump, citing his win and his experience in "outstanding" achievements, according to Yonhap.

Park said in her message she looks forward to strengthening cooperation between the two countries in order to resolve longstanding North Korea issues and to further develop the U.S.-South Korea alliance.

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As South Korea's main stock index the KOSPI shed more than 2 percentage points and the local currency depreciated in value, Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn called for an emergency meeting of ministers, pledging to work with the U.S. president-elect on bilateral issues.

Both Park and Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se called for continuity in U.S. North Korea policy. Park asked her aides to work toward strengthening U.S.-South Korea pressure on North Korea, so "the next U.S. administration without hesitation" continues current policy.

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South Korea's opposition party presidential hopeful also congratulated Trump on his victory, No Cut News reported. Moon Jae-in said in his message Trump's win shows the "desire of the American people for change in the future."

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U.S. Ambassador to Seoul Mark Lippert said the election outcome does not change the bilateral alliance.

In the course of his campaign Trump had suggested China take more responsibility for North Korea and said he is open to Japan and South Korea developing their own nuclear defense.

"Over the 60 years, we have had this special alliance. It's been through ups and downs. [But] it will always get stronger. I am confident that that trajectory will continue," Lippert said Wednesday.

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