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Nomination of new USFK chief returned to president: U.S. Congress

All News 16:01 April 16, 2021

SEOUL, April 16 (Yonhap) -- The nomination of the next commander of U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) has been returned to the White House as it was not handled during the previous Congress, congressional records showed Friday.

In December, then U.S. President Donald Trump nominated Army Pacific Commander Gen. Paul LaCamera to succeed Gen. Robert Abrams to lead the 28,500 American troops in South Korea. The nomination was later referred to the Senate Armed Services Committee for a confirmation hearing.

But as the new Congress came in, LaCamera's nomination was "returned to the President under the provisions of Senate Rule XXXI, paragraph 6 of the Standing Rules of the Senate" on Jan. 3, according to the U.S. Congress website, monitored by Yonhap News Agency on Friday.

Jan. 3 is when the current Congress began its term.

The rule stipulates that nominations neither confirmed nor rejected during the session at which they are made shall not be acted upon at any succeeding session without being again made to the Senate by the president.

"There appears to have been some delays at the time of the government changes," a military official said.

U.S. President Joe Biden took office on Jan. 20.

Abrams, who also is at the helm of the U.N. Command and the South Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Command, took office in November 2018, and the envisioned nomination is part of a routine reshuffle though no official term of office is set for a USFK commander, according to military officials.

LaCamera has been in command of the U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) since November last year, which is the land forces component of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and encompasses such locations as South Korea, Japan, Hawaii and Guam.

This photo downloaded from the U.S. Army Pacific website on Dec. 4, 2020, shows Gen. Paul LaCamera. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

graceoh@yna.co.kr
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