The White House took Victor Cha, a former national foreign policy advisor and an esteemed academic, out of the running for the next U.S. ambassador to South Korea after he raised concerns over the Trump administration’s idea of a limited strike on North Korea and the threats to tear up a bilateral trade deal with Seoul.
Cha, a professor at the Georgetown University, was initially nominated for the job by the Trump administration. But apparently, the professor’s op-ed on President Donald Trump’s handling of Pyongyang had dire repercussions, as he is reportedly no longer being considered for the post.
He would have been confirmed as the ambassador before the 2018 Winter Olympics.
“A strike (even a large one) would only delay North Korea’s missile-building and nuclear programs, which are buried in deep, unknown places impenetrable to bunker-busting bombs,” Cha wrote in the opinion article for The Washington Post.
Cha said the answer to the North Korean threat was “not, as some Trump administration officials have suggested, a preventive military strike.” Last year, Cha also opposed plans to undermine a U.S. trade deal with South Korea.
In the piece, he observed that "bloody nose" strike against Pyongyang carried a huge risk as it could endanger the lives of 230,000 Americans in South Korea, including tens of thousands of military personnel.
“I empathize with the hope, espoused by some Trump officials, that a military strike would shock Pyongyang into appreciating U.S. strength, after years of inaction, and force the regime to the denuclearization negotiating table,” he wrote.
It is to be noted that during the administration of President George W. Bush, Cha was the director for Asian affairs on the National Security Council and was a top advisor on North Korean affairs. He also served as deputy head of the U.S. delegation in multilateral talks with North Korea over its nuclear program. He is considered one of the foremost experts on the Koreas.
“Yet, there is a point at which hope must give in to logic. If we believe that Kim is undeterrable without such a strike, how can we also believe that a strike will deter him from responding in kind?” Cha continued.
Cha, an American citizen who was born in South Korea, recommended the U.S. to increase its cooperation with South Korea and Japan.
“A sustained and long-term competitive strategy such as this plays to U.S. strengths, exploits our adversary’s weaknesses and does not risk hundreds of thousands of American lives,” he concluded.
However, it looks like nobody can disagree with POTUS and his divisive policies.
Victor Cha reportedly objects to possible "bloody nose" strike on NK and tearing up KORUS... and may no longer be nominee for Ambassador. The days grow darker, Asia-watching friends. https://t.co/ltdphe1Y0d— Mira Rapp-Hooper (@MiraRappHooper) January 30, 2018
Bad sign if administration isn’t big enough to accommodate Victor Cha, one of the most respected Korea experts in Washington. Administration desperately needs more expertise—should have had Korea ambassador months ago. https://t.co/ocVR5c3I2l— Max Boot (@MaxBoot) January 30, 2018
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