South Korea's leadership has been advocating increased engagement to reduce tensions, and recently negotiated at least a temporary pause in North Korean missile and nuclear tests by persuading Pyongyang to participate in the upcoming PyeongChang Winter Olympics.
Victor Cha said the answer to the North Korean threat was "not, as some Trump administration officials have suggested, a preventive military strike".
Trump and top advisers have publicly welcomed the talks but USA officials have said privately that Pyongyang might be trying to drive a wedge between allies Washington and Seoul. Two sources in that report said Cha had already received his United States security clearances and was approved by the South Korean government before his nomination was scrapped.
"We talk about him having the ability to deliver a nuclear weapon to the United States in a matter of a handful of months", Pompeo said.
"Seong-ho was a starving boy in North Korea", the president told members of Congress. "I will not repeat the mistakes of the past administrations that got us into this risky position".
Cha, a Korean-American, served as the White House National Security Council's Asian Affairs Director, as well as deputy head of former President George W. Bush's delegation to North Korea.
He participated in the Six-Party talks with North Korea as the deputy head of the USA delegation, and was generally considered hawkish on security issues involving the North. "That was a moment that indicated I had personal victory toward the Kim Jong Un regime". The Kalma Airport on North Korea's eastern coast was the launch site for multiple midrange missile tests in 2016.
It also came hours after it was revealed that the White House will not be appointing former Bush administration official Victor Cha as US ambassador to South Korea, a decision reportedly driven, in part, by his stated opposition to a limited preventative strike against the DPRK.
He said his administration is applying "maximum pressure", military and diplomatic, in a so-far unsuccessful attempt to stop Kim from developing the capability to directly threaten the United States.
"A sustained and long-term competitive strategy such as this plays to US strengths, exploits our adversary's weaknesses and does not risk hundreds of thousands of American lives", he concluded.
"Some may argue that USA casualties and even a wider war on the Korean Peninsula are risks worth taking, given what is at stake", he said.
Matzegora added, "Official representatives of Pyongyang have made it clear that a blockade would be interpreted by North Korea as a declaration of war, with all the subsequentconsequences".
Trump also introduced Ji Seong-ho, a daring North Korean defector who traveled hundreds of miles on crutches just to get away from the Kim regime.
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