He took office as the US ambassador to Korea in July 2018, and after two and a half years of living in Seoul, he returned to the United States on the 21st. It is said that it was due to the resignation of the post of ambassador according to custom on the day of the inauguration of Democratic President Joe Biden. Ambassador Harris is a former U.S. Navy pilot who served as commander (commander) of the U.S. Pacific Forces Command in Hawaii for three years from May 2015 to May 2018. He is the first Asian (Japanese) American to be promoted to admiral in the history of the US Navy. In all of his remarks, Ambassador Harris was fortunate that “two and a half years ago, when he changed his affiliation from the US Department of Defense to the State Department, he changed his flight suit into a suit and came to Korea.”
#Forcing the choice between the US and China is the wrong narrativeThe point of his farewell lecture focused on the importance of the ROK-US alliance, China’s malicious challenge, and North Korea’s potential for provocation. As always emphasized, there is nothing more important than the ROK-US alliance on this day, and he stressed that it should be made into a’lynchpin (core axis)’ between Korea and the United States. Ambassador Harris said, “I am often asked whether the Korean government is being forced to choose between the United States and China in the security alliance and trade partners.” “This is a narrative that is misinformed to raise doubts on the history and strength of the ROK-US alliance. I think it’s narrative,” he said firmly. The Moon Jae-in administration put a wedge in the controversy of’Ahn Mi-kyung-jung’ (an American economy is China for security). “The US chose in 1950 (participating in the Korean War), and so did China. South Korea, a new country, chose it in 1953, and North Korea chose it in 1961.” They pointed out that the Korea-US Mutual Defense Treaty was signed in 1953, and the Treaty of Friendship and Mutual Assistance was signed in 1961.
He presented the history of the ROK-US alliance with a specific year.
△Signed the Korea-US Mutual Defense Treaty in 1953 △Founded the CFC in 1978 △Transferred peacetime operational control rights to Korea in 1994 △Joined the Visa Waiver Program in 2007 △Korea-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA) entered into force in 2012 △Korea-US Security Council in 2015 △2018 The conclusion of the re-negotiation proposal for the Korea-US FTA △He selected the conduct of the Korean general election and the US presidential election in 2020 Corona 19. The development process of the ROK-US alliance is pointed out.
Harris meets at Pacific Command in Hawaii
However, at Hawaii Pacific Forces Command, I could feel on my skin that North Korea was on guard day and night without knowing when it was going to provoke. Throughout an hour’s talk of the US’s Asia Pacific military strategy, his attention was focused on North Korea. Harris, a Japanese American, was born to a father of the US Army in Japan and a Japanese mother. Harris, who crossed from Japan as a child and grew up in Tennessee, USA, was conscious of the heightened anti-Japanese feelings in the U.S. at the time so that her mother could not speak Japanese at all outside the house. He was extremely reluctant to be seen as Japanese. On December 7, 1941, during World War II, Japan raided Pearl Harbor in Hawaii without a declaration of war. Is it the irony of history that Japanese Americans are defending Hawaii as commander-in-chief of the Pacific Ocean, which has a history of tension due to Japanese surprise provocations?
#Last year’s resignation controversyAmbassador Harris was controversial in April last year. Reuters reported that Ambassador Harris plans to resign after the US presidential election in November, regardless of whether President Donald Trump was re-elected. When the Reuters report came out, a spokesman for the US embassy in Korea said, “Ambassador Harris is carrying out his duties according to the will of the President, and he wants to continue to actively serve the United States. It is the best partner and alliance for the United States.” Although he tried to evolve the spread of the problem, he did not directly deny his resignation in November, leaving a lingering impression.
Ambassador Harris had to strongly represent the US position to the Korean National Assembly and the media when dealing with the ROK-US defense share negotiations and the Korea-Japan Military Information Protection Agreement (GSOMIA) in the second half of 2019. As a military-born diplomat, he enjoyed using direct speech, which is far from the traditional diplomatic image, so he often went on the narration and gave Koreans a’strong impression’. In his negative image, some people questioned the Japanese lineage and mocked Ambassador Harris’ mustache by comparing his mustache to a’Japanese governor’.
#Conservative HarrisHow did the report of his resignation come out?
Ambassador Harris is reported to have expressed his intention to quit the US ambassador to Korea after the Trump administration’s term ends at the command of the State Department at the meeting of the heads of diplomatic missions held in Washington in February last year. In the background, it seems that President Trump has no choice but to convey as an ambassador to the host country the pressure to raise Korea’s defense cost share by five times. President Trump’s pretense that he could withdraw US troops from the Korean peninsula in the course of the US presidential election also confounded the position of Ambassador Harris. There would have been no pressure to fulfill unreasonable demands as an ambassador of the host country. A diplomat said, “It seems that Ambassador Harris was very difficult to convey the tough position of the headquarters of the State Department to Korea.” It is assumed that the burden of having to play a villain in the negotiating basket between the United States and Korea with the style of working as a soldier as soon as possible was considerable.
In particular, not a few people speculate that it would have been difficult for Ambassador Harris, who was from the military, who had no choice but to be conservative, to deal with the Moon Jae-in government, whose mainstream student movement rights were. It seems that it was not easy to match the chemistry with Ambassador Harris, who emphasizes the alliance above all else, and Moon Jae-in administration, who prioritizes improving relations with North Korea. Looking at this situation, we can guess the whole story of his resignation.
#A warm person with a clear division of constructionThose who hated him tried to highlight his mustache and the bad image of’Japanese governor’. However, Ambassador Harris was popular as a warm person to the staff within the embassy. During his tenure, the salaries of embassy employees were said to have increased more than any other ambassador in the past. He did not spare time to encourage the staff by holding unity competitions with the embassy staff from time to time.
In particular, it is said that the classification of public works was strict. Ambassador Harris’s wife, Mrs. Bruni Bradley, is a former naval officer. When Mrs. Bruny recently arrived at Incheon Airport on her way to the United States, Ambassador Harris said she did not meet the airport because of business hours. People say that it is a style that thoroughly draws a line about the mobilization of personnel or equipment for private work during weekday working hours. Embassy officials remember that this was a contrast to the previous ambassadors’ emphasis on protocols and attempts to enhance their external image.
Although he is Japanese American, he is known to be wary of being treated as Japanese. Refusing to ride Japanese cars and emphasizing being American. At one event, it is often said that the Japanese expressed their personal friendliness and distanced themselves from saying “I am an American”.
#Wouldn’t it have been possible to fill the three-year term
#Bird nest in coloradoIt will take a while before President Biden decides to succeed Ambassador Harris. It is highly likely that Korea will be decided only after appointing ambassadors to Japan, Russia and China, which are major countries. Who will succeed Harris is still veiled. Perhaps for some time, Robert Rapson will have to serve as ambassador.
Ambassador Harris and his wife set up their home in Springfield, Colorado, in preparation for their retirement. Instead of buying an existing house, it was built. Ms. Bruny visited this place last September and stayed there for a couple of months to clear up a new home. Born in Japan, Ambassador Harris grew up mainly in Tennessee and Florida. It was somewhat surprising that he made a nest in Colorado. Ambassador Harris said that “I will enjoy fishing in the scenic Colorado.” In fact, I think I will have to deal with the exhausted mind and body for the time being. Some say that the establishment of a haven in Springfield, Colorado, which has no special connection from a year ago, is related to the plan after retirement. There are also observations that since he was a naval pilot, he is interested in aviation companies such as Boeing and back education to foster future pilots. Some say that there are clusters of related industries near Springfield.Former Korean Ambassador to the United States, Ahn Ho-young, who is known to have met with Ambassador Harris once a couple of months, said in his farewell speech, “We were born in 1956 and graduated from Georgetown University the same, and as diplomats and soldiers, we devoted ourselves to the government and for the ROK-US alliance.” He laughed, saying, “I have a common point that I am married to a wife who is better than myself.”
Last year, Ambassador Harris was a prominent candidate for the US Navy Secretary. Biden, who values diversity, doesn’t seem to be without the possibility of taking the lead in the government. In this regard, attention is drawn to the future steps of Asian Ambassador Harris. I wonder what the second act of his life will be like in Colorado.Reporter Choi Young-hae [email protected]
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