Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for July 10, 2019

Newsline: UK ambassador to US who criticized Trump resigns

The British ambassador to the U.S. who criticized President Trump has resigned, the U.K. Foreign Office said on July 10. Ambassador Kim Darroch — in documents leaked in recent days — slammed the Trump administration as “diplomatically clumsy and inept,” and said he doubted it would become “substantially more normal.” In a resignation letter on Wednesday, Darroch said “the current situation is making it impossible for me to carry out my role as I would like.” (https://www.foxnews.com/world/uk-ambassador-to-us-who-criticized-trump-resigns-british-foreign-office-says) “Although my posting is not due to end until the end of this year, I believe in the current circumstances the responsible course is to allow the appointment of a new ambassador,” he wrote, noting the situation “has brought home to me the depth of friendship and close ties between our two countries.” Darroch said he is “grateful to all those in the U.K. and the U.S., who have offered their support during this difficult few days.” Prime Minister Theresa May said it was a “matter of regret” that Darroch resigned. A day before Darroch’s resignation Downing Street said he “continues to have the prime minister’s full support,” adding that “we have made clear to the U.S. how unfortunate this leak is” and that “the selective extracts leaked do not reflect the closeness of, and the esteem in which we hold, the relationship.” A source close to the matter told Fox News that Darroch will remain in Washington, D.C. until the prime minister chooses his replacement — and with May leaving her role, it’s unclear when the next ambassador will arrive in the U.S. The source added that Darroch is leaving his post with his “head held high.”

Newsline: US ex-marine tied to North Korean embassy raid in Spain to be released on bail

hristopher Ahn, a former U.S. marine who Spanish authorities have linked to the February break-in at North Korea’s embassy in Madrid, was at a hearing at a California court on July 9 ordered to be freed on a $1.3 million bail. Ahn — who the U.S. government has asked be held in captivity since his detention in April — must remain under house arrest pending further proceedings into his potential extradition to Spain. He will be required to use an ankle monitor, and will only be permitted to leave home for medical appointments and to attend church. (https://www.nknews.org/2019/07/chris-ahn-ex-marine-tied-to-north-korean-embassy-raid-to-be-released-on-bail/) Family and friends who put up the bail, U.S. Magistrate Judge Jean Rosenbluth said, stood to risk losing the money should Ahn, previously described as a “flight risk,” flee. “I spent a lot of time reading about you and I’m confident you’re going to do the right thing,” Rosenbluth was quoted as having told the former marine, first tied to the mystery break-in at the DPRK embassy in Madrid back in February. That raid, Spanish authorities have alleged, saw Ahn and others from the “Free Joseon” group forcibly enter the DPRK embassy, before allegedly assaulting and restraining diplomatic staff.