Trump administration drops US Ambassador to S Korea nominee

ANI | Updated: Jan 31, 2018 07:03 IST

Washington D.C. [U.S], Jan. 31 (ANI): The White House's original choice for the United States ambassador to South Korea, Victor D. Cha, is no longer expected to be nominated after he "privately expressed disagreement in late December with the Trump administration's North Korea policy", according to reports.

Cha, an academic who served in former U.S President George W. Bush administration, raised his concerns with the National Security Council officials over their contemplation of a limited strike on the North that aimed at sending a message without sparking a wider war.

According to the Washington Post, Cha also objected to the administration's threats to tear up a bilateral trade deal with Seoul that U.S President Donald Trump has called unfair to American companies. The administration last week imposed new tariffs on imports on washing machines and solar energy panels, a move criticized by the South Korean government.

According to reports, the White House had spent months conducting a security and financial background check on Cha and U.S. officials formally notified Seoul in December of President Trump's intent to send his nomination to the Senate.

South Korean officials quickly signed off on Cha, a formal process in international affairs known as "Agrement."

Trump is expected to discuss his approach to North Korea during his State of the Union address to a televised joint session of Congress on Tuesday night.

A flag was raised during Cha's background check that led officials to determine he could not serve in the ambassador's post, an anonymous official told the Washington Post.

The abrupt derailment of Cha's nomination comes after months of growing tensions between the United States and North Korea. The Trump administration and the United Nations have enacted stiff economic sanctions and sought to increase diplomatic pressure on Pyongyang over its continued nuclear and ballistic missile tests. (ANI)