Ambassador Harry Harris was originally nominated to be the U.S. Ambassador to Australia in February 2018. The nomination was withdrawn by May 2018 and he was nominated to be the U.S. Ambassador to South Korea the same month. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on June 28, 2018 by voice vote. He arrived in Seoul in July that year, and made his first public appearance on July 7, 2018.
As far as we could tell, he’s been sporting that mustache since he arrived in Seoul almost two years ago. We did not hear about the mustache in 2018, so it has to be more than the mustache when the bad press started in the later part of 2019. If he was pestering the host country to pay up for the cost of U.S. troops in the country, that could do it. He’s not a career diplomat but he was a career military official. That means whatever he’s doing is blessed by his chain of command in Foggy Bottom. Or by the guy talking loudly on Twitter.
So apparently, the United States originally demanded $5 billion in payment for U.S. troops stationed in South Korea. Now it’s down to slightly under a billion or else. Bloomberg is reporting that the USG will send furlough notices within weeks to the base workers if no deal is made.
U.S. officials have indicated they’ve backed off Trump’s initial demand that President Moon Jae-in’s administration pay about $5 billion a year for U.S. forces stationed there, more than five times the $900 million in a stopgap one-year agreement that expired on Dec. 31.[…]U.S. officials say they are required to give those workers 60 days’ advance notice that their pay might be cut off because the last of the funds under the previous deal is running out.
Watch out. This is the same Administration which shut down the Federal Government for 35 days from December 22, 2018 until January 25, 2019 making it the record holder of the longest U.S. government shutdown in history.
US is warning it will send furlough notices within weeks to 9,000 South Korean workers at US bases if South Korea doesn’t reach agreement on Trump’s demand for an increase in what it pays for US troops.
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) January 23, 2020
Is it the 'stache? U.S. ambassador to South Korea Harry Harris says he has been harshly criticized in his host country because of his mustache and his Japanese ancestry. Critics in Seoul say it has more to do with a rude and undiplomatic manner. https://t.co/MZvn0g8jnC
— The Associated Press (@AP) January 20, 2020
The story about the moustache of US Amb. Harry Harris is such a great example of how media narratives are shaped by the few that it should be taught in media literacy 101. I’ll explain here. (1/10)
— Yim Hyun-su 임현수 (@hyunsuinseoul) January 19, 2020
Remarks made by U.S. Ambassador Harry Harris are getting backlash from the Blue House and ruling party, laying bare the rift between Seoul and Washington.https://t.co/xCm8lsSDmB
— Korea JoongAng Daily (@JoongAngDaily) January 18, 2020
South Korea’s push to allow for private tourism to North Korea should be discussed with the U.S., says Ambassador Harry Harris https://t.co/PQCdJVFuLi
— Bloomberg (@business) January 16, 2020
U.S. and South Korean negotiators are struggling to reach a deal that matches President Trump’s demand for a substantial increase in Seoul’s security payments https://t.co/tHVBpAdyZX
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) January 7, 2020
Up to 8,700 South Korean employees working for the United States Forces Korea will be impacted, the representative of the workers' union says. They were given a heads-up of possible furloughs as early as last October through this letter. https://t.co/uERfsTtq3Y pic.twitter.com/9Vv0wVGLgc
— Jihye Lee 이지혜 (@TheJihyeLee) January 23, 2020