White House sends South Korea ambassador nomination to the Senate

White House sends South Korea ambassador nomination to the Senate
© Getty

The White House formally nominated Adm. Harry Harris Jr. on Wednesday to be Washington's top envoy to South Korea. 

The Trump administration announced its intent to nominate Harris, the head of U.S. Pacific Command, as its ambassador to Seoul last week.

He had previously been tapped as its envoy to Australia. Trump formally withdrew that nomination on Wednesday.

ADVERTISEMENT

Harris has served in the military for four decades, and has extensive experience in the Pacific.

His nomination for the ambassadorship in Seoul comes as the U.S. preps for a summit between President TrumpDonald John TrumpRosenstein expected to leave DOJ next month: reports Allies wary of Shanahan's assurances with looming presence of Trump States file lawsuit seeking to block Trump's national emergency declaration MORE and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, which is set to take place on June 12 in Singapore.

While his nomination was sent to the Senate on Wednesday, it's not clear when Harris could get a hearing, though it could take some time, a congressional aide told The Hill.

The aide said that congressional leaders would have to hold a new round of meetings on the nomination.

"Different posts require different questions and vetting," the aide said.

Rumors initially swirled since last month that Harris could be chosen to serve as the ambassador to South Korea – a position that has been handled for 16 months by Chargé d'Affaires Marc Knapper.