McMaster and John Bolton appointment as White House adviser fans worries in Asia

Vastavam web: Voices of concern emerged in South Korea and elsewhere in Asia on Friday after U.S. President Donald Trump shook up his foreign policy team again, prompting worries over Trump’s pending summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.Trump announced in a tweet he was replacing H.R. McMaster with John Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations known for his hard-line stance advocating the use of military force against North Korea and Iran.“Our stance is that if a new road opens, we have to go that path,” a senior Blue House official told reporters. “Bolton has much knowledge on the issues regarding the Korean peninsula and most of all, we know him to be one of the U.S. president’s aides who is trusted.”

He said Chung Eui-yong, South Korea’s National Security Office head, had not yet spoken with Bolton and that Chung’s reaction to McMaster’s dismissal was “not bad”.The announcement came 10 days after Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, another moderating influence, replacing him with CIA director Mike Pompeo.

The administration of South Korean President Moon Jae-in is keen to see successful talks between the United States and North Korea, expected sometime in May.The two Koreas are also scheduled to hold their first summit in more than a decade in late April, building on friendly exchanges that began after Kim Jong Un said in a New Year’s address he wanted to improve ties with South Korea.