This is actually a name that has been floating out there for quite some time:
The Trump administration plans to name a Washington-based academic and former White House official, Victor Cha, as the next US ambassador to South Korea, an administration official said on Tuesday.
Cha is a former director for Asian affairs on the White House National Security Council and served as deputy head of the US delegation in multilateral talks with North Korea over its nuclear program during the administration of President George W. Bush.
An administration official said he expected the appointment, which will be subject to a Senate confirmation hearing, to be announced “soon,” and added that it had “been in the works for a long time.” [Business Insider]
You can read more at the link, but his appointment is not going to make the academic crowd advocating for engagement with North Korea happy.
That is what this editorial in the Korea Times is claiming:
This means that who the next U.S. ambassador to Seoul will be is ever more important. He or she should be communicative with Koreans and have Trump’s trust ― giving a nudge when the president wobbles and making sure it gets noted. In that sense, Victor Cha, a former Bush operative and professor at Georgetown couldn’t be a worse candidate, according to five people in the know.
Putting their suggestions together, the result is Cha, who would act as if he were Caesar the Conqueror, trying to get his way no matter what at the risk of a great deal of friction with the Moon Jae-in government. That would be possible and dangerous because he, if appointed, would exert influence at key junctures when his boss was distracted, and the North’s asymmetric threat will peak. Some say that it is better now without a resident at Habib House in Seoul than Cha in it. [Korea Times]
You can read the rest at link, but basically since Cha is not a supporter of engagement with North Korea the academics the Korea Times spoke with think he is a bad choice for US ambassador.
From a military perspective something that I know Victor Cha has pushed for in the past is to have Seoul take over OPCON of Korean forces. This is something that left wing ROK presidents wanted in the past and then when the US called their bluff on this issue they started playing delay games until a conservative president took power and put it off entirely. I think Cha would probably also be a strong advocate for the ROK to pay more for the US-ROK alliance which is another key President Trump initiative.
South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon (L) meets with Acting U.S. Ambassador to Seoul Marc Knapper at his office in the government complex in Seoul on July 14, 2017. (Yonhap)