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White House Asia Experts Stepping Down

Posted November. 05, 2005 03:02,   


The Asian department of President Bush’s national security team is undergoing major changes.

Senior director Michael Green, who has been in charge of Asian policy at the National Security Council (NSC) for the past five years, will soon leave the White House and begin lecturing at Georgetown.

According to a source in Washington on November 3, Green will get married at the end of this year and lecture at Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. His successor as the senior director is not yet decided. Victor Cha, a Korean-American aide under Green, was also an associate professor at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service.

The Office of the Vice President has been deeply involved in the policies relating to the Korean peninsula under Dick Cheney’s influence. This office will also have new personnel as the Asian experts have either transferred or resigned.

Senior director Steve Yates resigned this fall and moved to Barbour, Griffith & Yates a month ago. The Washington-based lobbying firm is a Republican firm which lobbies for foreign governments and companies. A source stated that his successor has not been decided on.

One career diplomat and Asia expert from the Department of State worked under Yates, then was moved to the White House National Security Council this summer. Mark Keller filled her position. He was a secretary to the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Christopher Hill.

Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff Lewis Libby, who resigned last month for his involvement in the Plame affair, was also an assistant to national security affairs. Given all these facts, it can be said that almost all of the Asian experts in the vice president’s office have also changed in recent months.

Another source said, “The changes of personnel is coincidental; there is no political motive behind it.”

Seung-Ryun Kim srkim@donga.com