New US ambassador...
“I think there is a great deal of respect, affection and admiration between Americans and Filipinos and that is clearly evident among the more than 4 million Filipino-Americans residing in the US and the 250,000 Americans living and working in the Philippines,” Kim said.
He said he is “very eager to get started and very much looking forward to meeting as many Filipinos as possible and visiting many beautiful places in the Philippines.”
Kim was nominated by President Barack Obama to replace Philip Goldberg as ambassador to the Philippines last May 19 and confirmed by the US Senate last September 28. He was sworn-in as the new ambassador last November 3 by Secretary of State John Kerry.
Kim had served as special representative for North Korea Policy and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Korea and Japan.
He also was the special envoy for the Six-Party Talks that discussed the dismantling of North Korea’s nuclear program. He has served in a variety of positions in the East Asia Pacific region, including overseas assignments in Seoul, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong.
Kim is scheduled to make his first public speaking engagement in the country today during the celebration of the third anniversary of the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI).
Launched in 2013, YSEALI is the US government’s signature program to strengthen leadership development and networking in Southeast Asia.
In the Philippines alone, 33 youthled community projects are planned nationwide, such as agri-entrepreneurship workshops for farmers in North Cotabato, psychosocial therapy sessions for persons with disabilities in Ilocos Norte, and English literacy sessions for out-of-school youth in Sulu.
Well-wishes from Palace Meanwhile, Malacañang welcomed the new US ambassador’s arrival.
“We welcome the new Ambassador of the United States to the Philippines and sana po mas maganda ang... pakikipag-palitan natin ng diplomasya with the US dahil Asian ang ating counterpart from the US (a better diplomatic exchange is hoped because our counterpart from the US is also Asian),” said Assistant Communications Secretary Marie Banaag at a press briefing in Malacañang.
Kim was born Seoul, Korea and grew up in Los Angeles, California.