A retired U.S. Army general and the chairman of the U.S. house foreign affairs committee may be possible candidates for U.S. President Donald Trump's ambassador to South Korea.
The South China Morning Post reported on Wednesday that retired U.S. Army General James Thurman and outgoing Republican Representative Edward Royce are under consideration for the role.
"Edward Royce is a Korean expert. He has acted as a chairperson for exchanges between South Korea’s parliament and the U.S. House of Representatives. The two candidates have a lot of Korean experience."
The 64-year-old Thurman was a member of U.S. Vice President Mike Pence's delegation to the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in early February.
The retired general served as the commander of the United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command, and the United States Forces in South Korea from 2011 to 2013.
The 66-year-old Royce was also among Pence's delegation to PyeongChang.
Royce announced in January that he would not seek re-election in the U.S. congressional midterm elections in November.
There had been rumors that veteran Korean expert and former National Security Council member Victor Cha could be Washington's choice for the ambassadorship, but Cha was rejected for his unwillingness to endorse a pre-emptive strike on North Korea.
After Trump said last week that he would accept an invitation from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to meet by May, the U.S. Korean policy circle began moving with greater urgency to fill important diplomatic vacancies to support communication with Pyongyang.
Ji Myung-kil, Arirang News.