Biden taps Kim for Asia, Pacific office

The Philippine Star
Biden taps Kim for Asia, Pacific office
Sung Kim
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Former US ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim has been named acting assistant secretary of state for East Asia and Pacific Affairs.

He was appointed on Wednesday, when the administration of President Joe Biden took office, according to the State Department’s website.

Kim was the US envoy to Manila from December 2016 to September 2020. Before being named to his current post, he was US ambassador to Indonesia.

Kim will oversee foreign affairs policies involving East Asia and the Pacific, including China, Japan, South Korea and the 10-nation ASEAN, of which the Philippines is a member.

In 2018, Kim played a key role in pushing forward the US-North Korea summit. He served as ambassador to Seoul from 2011 to 2014, and was special representative for North Korea policy and deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asia and Pacific Affairs.

Kim was special envoy for the six-party talks, a series of multilateral negotiations that started in 2003 attended by the US, China, Japan, Russia, North Korea and South Korea aimed at finding a peaceful resolution to security concerns brought about by North Korea’s nuclear program.

Kim was born in Seoul in 1960, migrated to the US when he was 13 and became a US citizen in 1980. He studied law at Loyola University in Chicago and has a Masters of Law degree from the London School of Economics. He started his career at the State Department as a staff assistant in the Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs.

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