Alexandra Bell, the Senior Policy Director at the Center for Arms Control & Non-Proliferation, told me Trump could hurry to get an ambassador to Seoul nominated. The State Department doesn’t have an assistant secretary of state for Asia, either. All of these issues are making it harder for Trump to craft solid North Korea policy.
In Bell’s view, China needs to be pressured to do more and having a full supporting team would help Trump figure out how that can be done.
“The U.S. has a lot of carrots in our basket and China has the sticks,” Bell said. “I think some combination of us working with China and our partners in the region could produce something.”