South Korea's new liberal President was sworn in yesterday and vowed to tackle immediately the hard tasks of addressing North Korea's advancing nuclear ambitions and soothing tensions with the United States and China.
The timing of the announcement coincides with the election of South Korea's new president Moon Jae-in and comes amid a continued dispute between Beijing and Washington over the deployment of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system on South Korean soil.
"I will also go to Beijing, Tokyo and even Pyongyang in the right circumstances".
Moon, who had started a law firm with Roh, served as his chief of staff in the presidential Blue House and was involved in North Korea policy during this time.
Mr Moon assumed presidential duties early in the morning after the national election commission finished counting Tuesday's votes and declared him victor of the special election necessitated by the ousting of conservative Park Geun-hye.
The corruption scandal that ended Park's presidency has subsequently dealt a blow to all her policies and in the course of his campaign Moon had promised a departure from approaches representative of the previous administration.
He went on to say he hoped Moon would soon visit the United States for a summit.
The Japanese and South Korean leaders agreed to meet with each other as soon as possible.
"In order to bring about peace and security on the Korean Peninsula I will do everything that I can", he said.
But this would put South Korea at odds with the United States, where President Trump has vowed to use "maximum pressure" to force the North to give up its nuclear weapons program, and with an worldwide community that is largely supportive of tougher sanctions.
The recently elected liberal leader of South Korea is seeking warmer ties with North Korea, clashing with the Republican in the White House intent on snuffing out the North's nuclear weapons program.
North Korea has unveiled what it claims are satellite images of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system which was deployed by the United States military in South Korea, Seoul officials said on Thursday.
Office workers and passers-by lined the streets as Mr Moon's motorcade passed through central Seoul en route to the presidential Blue House from Parliament.
On North Korean problems, Abe said he hopes to closely cooperate with Moon in denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.
He has also said he wants to reconsider the USA deployment of THAAD anti-missile system on the Korean peninsula. The South recently deployed a US missile defense system.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe both congratulated Mr Moon yesterday.
He won 41.1% of the vote in Tuesday's election, ahead of Hong Joon-Pyo of the Liberty Korea party, on 24%, and centrist Ahn Cheol-Soo on 21.4%.
Abe said he looked forward to working with Moon to improve relations, describing South Korea as one of Japan's most important neighbors.
The call also touched on a controversial 2015 agreement over compensating South Korean women forced into sexual slavery by Japan's military in World War II, Moon's office said.