August 31, 2017 12:15
Veteran Korea expert Victor Cha has been tapped as the next U.S. ambassador to Seoul, Reuters reported Tuesday.
Cha now holds the Korea chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and teaches at Georgetown University. Reuters quoted a U.S. official as saying that President Donald Trump picked Cha and his appointment will be announced "soon."
Cha will be the second Korean-American ambassador after Sung Kim, who is now ambassador to the Philippines. The post has been vacant for about seven months since the Trump shambles got underway.
Cha, a Republican, was director for Asian affairs on the White House National Security Council during the Bush administration and involved in abortive attempts to end North Korea's nuclear program.
He has written in support of heavy pressure on Pyongyang and Beijing. He was recommended by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, but his appointment was postponed due to opposition from Steve Bannon, the recently ousted White House chief strategist.
Born in the U.S. in 1959, Cha has a B.A. in economics from Columbia University, an M.A. in philosophy, politics, and economics from the University of Oxford, and a Ph.D. from Columbia.
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