April 25, 2018 13:07
The White House is considering switching the nominee for ambassador to Australia, U.S. Pacific Command chief Adm. Harry Harris, to the post of ambassador to Korea, Reuters reported Wednesday.
Citing an anonymous source, Reuters said, "President Donald Trump's nominee to be secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, had asked Harris to take the key post in Seoul, which has been vacant since Trump took office in January last year."
Harris was nominated for the Canberra job in February, but the dramatic change in the security situation on the Korean Peninsula seems to have changed Trump's mind.
The North has pledged to freeze nuclear tests and missile launches while closing down its nuclear test site.
Marc Knapper, the chargé d'affaires, has been serving as acting ambassador in Seoul.
Harris is known for his hawkish approach to North Korea. He has helmed the Pacific Command, which oversees the U.S. Forces Korea, since 2015 and retires next month.
The U.S. is a rare case in the world in making political appointments for ambassadorial posts rather than using career diplomats.
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