It’s Getting Worse on North Korea

There were hints earlier today that President Trump was going to have something ‘surprising’ about North Korea in the State of the Union and that it might be surprising on the conciliatory side. That would be surprising. More recent reports suggest that Trump will make some dramatically confrontational statement on the topic, which is of course very bad but not terribly surprising.

Now comes word that the proposed Ambassador the White House announced late last year, to generally positive response, won’t be nominated after all. He didn’t toe the White House’s antic, war-mongering line. So he’s out.

Just out from the Post

The White House’s original choice for U.S. ambassador to South Korea 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 people familiar with the matter.

Victor D. Cha, an academic who served in the George W. Bush administration, raised his concerns with National Security Council officials over their consideration of a limited strike on the North aimed at sending a message without sparking a wider war — a risky concept known as a “bloody nose” strategy.

Cha also objected to the administration’s threats to tear up a bilateral trade deal with Seoul that 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.