Senator Markey Reiterates Urgent Call for South Korea Ambassador in Light of Korean Talks

Critical position remains vacant for a year despite North Korea’s continued progress on threatening military capabilities


Washington (March 5, 2018) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Ranking Member of the East Asia Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, reiterated his call for the Trump administration to officially nominate a U.S. Ambassador to South Korea given the announced talks between Kim Jong Un and representatives of the South Korean government. More than a year into the his presidency, Donald Trump does not have an envoy to close ally South Korea, a country with whom coordination on efforts to address the nuclear crisis is nothing short of essential.


“More than a year into the Trump administration, North Korea is racing towards finishing a nuclear weapon that could reach the United States but the President has not nominated an ambassador to South Korea,” said Senator Markey. “The President must identify a serious professional with extensive diplomatic experience, first-hand knowledge of the North Korean threat, and credibility with our partners in South Korea. Anything short of this competency and commitment to diplomacy will raise questions about U.S. intentions to solve this problem. We owe it to the American people and to the world to engage in sincere talks with North Korea before committing to military confrontation. Having a top-notch quarterback for this diplomatic effort in the capital of South Korea is the only way it stands a chance.”


Last week, Senator Markey gave remarks on the Senate floor calling for cutting off the flow of crude oil from China to North Korea, stopping the Kim regime from selling the slave labor of its people, eliminating Pyongyang’s illicit drug trade, halting its procurement of key rocket fuel chemicals, and restricting its use of the internet to evade sanctions through theft of cryptocurrencies to commit other cybercrimes.


Earlier this month, Senator Markey called on the State Department to explain how it is able to implement North Korea-related diplomatic and sanctions enforcement efforts in light of drastic budget cuts, high-level position eliminations, and staffing reassignments.