obama officially names sung kim as ambassador to korea

This week, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Sung Y. Kim, the State Department's top Korean expert and the U.S. special envoy for the six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear weapons program, as the next Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, officially confirming what has already been widely reported on for weeks: Obama taps Korean American as Seoul envoy.
Kim's nomination comes one day after a Senate committee confirmed Gary Locke to be the first Chinese American as US ambassador of Beijing. Asian Americans saw Locke's nomination as historic, as many members of the community have historically complained of being treated as perpetual foreigners.

Kim, who also needs confirmation by the Senate, is a former prosecutor in Los Angeles who became an Asia specialist when he joined the Foreign Service. He has served in Seoul, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong and visited North Korea.

Kim would replace Kathleen Stephens, who has worked to improve the US image in its close ally by speaking Korean and reaching out to ordinary people through Twitter and other social media.
Kim, born in South Korea, immigrated to the U.S. in the 1970s and obtained U.S. citizenship in 1980. If confirmed, he will be the United States' first Korean American ambassador to Seoul. More here: Obama names Sung Kim as top envoy to Korea. And read the White House press release here.

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