US President Donald Trump will name a Washington-based academic and former White House official, Victor Cha, as the next US ambassador to South Korea, Reuters reported, quoting an administration official as saying on Tuesday.
Cha served as director for Asian affairs on the White House National Security Council and deputy head of the US delegation in multilateral talks with North Korea over its nuclear program during the administration of President George W. Bush.
The Trump administration is expected to announce the appointment soon, according to the report.
"The move came as President Donald Trump faced perhaps his biggest foreign policy challenge over North Korea's pursuit of an nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the United States, Reuters quoted the official as saying.
The Korean-American expert will replace Ambassador Mark Lippert, a political appointee who served in Seoul during the Obama administration.
Reuters said Cha did not respond to a request for comment. He is currently the Korea Chair at Washington's Center for Strategic and International Studies and director of Asian studies at Georgetown University's Department of Government and School of Foreign Service.