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New US envoy eager to start work in the Philippines

New US envoy eager to start work in the Philippines


MANILA, Philippines — The new American ambassador to the Philippines is eager to start his work in Manila as the two countries mark the 70th anniversary of its alliance.


United States Ambassador Sung Kim, former chief US envoy for North Korea policy, was sworn into office early Friday (Manila time).

"I very much look forward to continuing our robust economic engagement and to reinforcing the good work USAID and the Millennium Challenge Corporation have done to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth," Kim said in a speech after his oath taking at the US State Department.

Kim added that the Philippines and the US also celebrate its common history of shared sacrifice, values, interests and a mutual defense treaty as the two nations celebrate the 70th year of partnership.

The Korean-born American diplomat also noted that the US has been among the Philippines' top trading partners and one of its largest foreign investors.

Kim added that he is particularly looking forward to the shared interest of the Philippines and the US in basketball.

"I have to say as a longtime basketball fan, I’m particularly excited about our two people’s shared love for the most exciting game in sports," the American envoy said.

The American diplomat said that he is deeply honored to follow the diplomats who preceded him in the Philippines, including John Negroponte, Michael Armacost, Stephen Bosworth, Thomas Hubbard, Kristie Kenney and Philip Goldberg.

Kim also served as ambassador to South Korea from 2011 to 2014. He was the first Korean-American US ambassador to Korea.

Secretary of State John Kerry stressed that there is no one better qualified that Kim to represent the US to the Philippines at a time that President Rodrigo Duterte has been antagonistic to Washington.

"And I am confident because in Sung Kim we will have one of our finest diplomats representing us in Manila, a worthy successor to Ambassador Goldberg and a person known both for his talent and his style," Kerry said.

Kerry reminded Kim that he will have the full backing of American President Barack Obama as he travels to Manila.

Source: Philstar

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