New US envoy to PH meets Duterte

Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 06 2016 06:13 PM | Updated as of Dec 06 2016 08:04 PM

MANILA (UPDATE) – Newly installed United States Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim on Tuesday presented his credentials to President Rodrigo Duterte.

Kim thanked Duterte for the "warm welcome" he received when he presented his credentials in Malacañang.

Delivering a brief statement to media, the ambassador pointed out the two countries' close ties, "shared history and values" which he said will ensure the "stability" of the two countries' relations.

He also spoke of the "deep bond" of Filipinos and Americans and looks forward to expanding relations, including economic ties.

"This important relationship is of course based on mutual respect. I'm confident that our mutual respect, combined with the close ties and shared history and values, will ensure stability of our relationship over the long term and years and decades to come," he said.

Kim’s designation as new ambassador to the Philippines marks a turning point in Philippines-U.S. relations under the tough-talking Duterte, who did not hide his anger at the previous U.S. envoy, Philip Goldberg.

Kim’s arrival also comes in the wake of the Filipino leader’s changing of tone towards the U.S. following the election victory of an equally controversial personality, Republican bet Donald Trump.

Before going to Malacañang to present his credentials to the President, Kim paid respects to the monument of Filipino national hero Jose Rizal.

According to the White House, Kim earlier served as a career member of the Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, Special Representative for North Korea Policy and Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs at the Department of State.

Kim, who was born in Seoul, South Korea, served as U.S.
Ambassador to the Republic of Korea from 2011 to 2014, Special Envoy for the Six Party Talks with the rank of Ambassador from 2008 to 2011, and Director of the Office of Korean Affairs in the Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs from 2006 to 2008.

Kim also served as Political-Military Chief at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, Korea from 2002 to 2006.

Kim has also held positions at posts in Hong Kong, Japan, and Malaysia. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Kim was a Deputy District Attorney in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Aside from Kim, the Palace said the ambassadors-designate of Malaysia, Sweden, Hungary, Canada, Kuwait, Germany, United Arab Emirates, and Brunei were also due to present their credentials to Duterte this afternoon.