U.S. President Donald Trump plans to nominate former Air Force General David Stilwell to be the State Department’s top diplomat for East Asia, a post that has remained unfilled for more than a year despite major challenges in the region.
A White House statement on Wednesday said Trump had announced his intention to nominate Stilwell, a former career fighter pilot who speaks Korean, Chinese and some Japanese, to be assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs.
The nomination must be confirmed by the Senate, but experts said Stilwell would likely receive broad support from the chamber.
The post has remained unfilled since the previous incumbent, Daniel Russel, stepped down in April last year, in spite of a major crisis over North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and worsening relations and a trade war with China, the world’s No. 2 economy and Washington’s main rival in the region.
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