As Trump-Kim Summit Nears, U.S. Could Finally Have an Ambassador to S. Korea As Trump-Kim Summit Nears, U.S. Could Finally Have an Ambassador to S. Korea – NTK Network

As Trump-Kim Summit Nears, U.S. Could Finally Have an Ambassador to S. Korea

The Trump administration is switching its nominee to be U.S. ambassador to Australia to the equivalent position for South Korea, a sign preparations for a Trump-Kim summit are ramping up.

By NTK Staff | 04.25.2018 @11:00am
As Trump-Kim Summit Nears, U.S. Could Finally Have an Ambassador to S. Korea

In a possible sign that preparations for a potential June summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un are heating up, the Trump administration announced Tuesday that it’s switching its nominee for U.S. ambassador to Australia to the equivalent position for South Korea.

The New York Times reported:

The Trump administration has abruptly decided that Washington’s pick for ambassador to Australia should instead become envoy to South Korea, filling a diplomatic void just as President Trump prepares to meet Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s leader, officials said on Wednesday.

The shift involving Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., commander of the United States forces in the Pacific, is a diplomatic blow to Australia, a close American ally. Australia’s foreign minister, Julie Bishop, confirmed that Mr. Harris would not be taking the post in Australia.

Harris’ position leading United States Pacific Command (USPACOM) has presumably given him exposure to a large section of the world. According to USPACOM’s website, the group’s “Area of Responsibility (AOR)” includes:

…about half the earth’s surface, stretching from the waters off the west coast of the U.S. to the western border of India, and from Antarctica to the North Pole.

More importantly, though, the switch shines a light on just how important U.S.-South Korea relations are to the success of a potential Trump-Kim summit.

Reports in recent days have revealed that the U.S. is seeking complete denuclearization in the North, a goal South Korea would likely share with the U.S.

A double shot of confirmations for Mike Pompeo to be secretary of state and Harry B. Harris, Jr. to be U.S. ambassador to South Korea would give Trump a team to work with South Korea ahead of what would be a historic summit.

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