Warner to Trump: Fill diplomatic appointments key to addressing North Korea

U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) joined Sen. Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) and a group of senators in calling on President Trump to fill the vacancies for U.S. Ambassador to South Korea, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, and Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs.

mark warnerThese key positions have gone unfilled in the over eight months of the Trump presidency. In the wake of North Korea’s actions, Senate-confirmed nominees for these positions would provide stable leadership and coordinate State and Defense Department efforts as our country works with our allies and partners to reach a diplomatic solution.

“As North Korea continues its illegal nuclear weapons program, commits blatant violations of international law, and makes threats to our country and allies, the confirmation of a U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea must be prioritized to send a concrete signal to reassure not only our ROK allies but also the American people,” the Senators wrote. “Just as our diplomatic mission to the ROK deserves leadership of an ambassador to represent our nation’s interests, our country’s diplomatic and military efforts in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region deserve permanent Assistant Secretaries of State and Defense to coordinate our diplomatic efforts on North Korea, other regional challenges as well as opportunities to advance U.S. interests.”

In addition to Sens. Warner and Hirono, the following Senators also signed the letter: Sens. Bob Casey (D-PA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Edward Markey (D-MA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).

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