Exit of Trump administration’s ambassadorial pick for South Korea suggests how seriously White House is considering striking Kim regime


Washington (January 31, 2018) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Ranking Member of the East Asia Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today urged the Trump administration to heed the warning of Victor Cha, who reportedly was dropped from consideration to be the U.S. Ambassador to South Korea over his concerns that the White House was seriously considering a so-called “bloody nose” strike on North Korea. In a Washington Post opinion piece (“Giving North Korea a ‘bloody nose’ carries a huge risk to Americans”, January 31, 2018), Victor Cha details telling the administration, “The answer is not, as some Trump administration officials have suggested, a preventive military strike,’ before being dropped from contention for the ambassador post. Senator Markey urged the Trump administration to pursue a comprehensive solution that combines economic sanctions and direct negotiations to bring a peaceful end to the North Korea nuclear crisis.


“The bloody nose strike contemplated by the Trump administration could lead to a catastrophic loss of life,” said Senator Markey. “We must remember our ultimate goal is peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. President Trump and Secretary Tillerson need to get serious about halting North Korea’s destabilizing nuclear and ballistic missile programs by engaging in a credible and direct diplomatic campaign, combined with strict sanctions that bring North Korea to the negotiating table. There is no military solution to the crisis on the Korean peninsula.”


In October, Senators Markey and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) introduced legislation in recognition of the need to develop a coherent and multifaceted North Korea strategy combining diplomatic engagement, sanctions, and a stronger alliance between the United States and South Korea.