New U.S. envoy arriving in Manila on December 1
MANILA, Philippines – US Ambassador-designate to the Philippines Sung Kim is arriving in Manila on Thursday evening, December 1, the US embassy said.
Kim is expected to deliver a statement at the dignitaries' lounge of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 upon his arrival, the US embassy said Tuesday afternoon, November 29.
No questions will be entertained upon his arrival on Thursday – the usual practice of ambassadors who have not presented their credentials to the President.
Kim is replacing Ambassador Philip Goldberg, the subject of tirades from Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. The President, for one, called Goldberg "gay" and denounced Washington as "hypocritical" for meddling in Manila's affairs.
Kim took his oath as US ambassador to the Philippines on November 3.
Ahead of his oath-taking, Kim was confirmed by the US Senate on September 28. He was nominated by President Barack Obama on May 19, more than a month before Duterte took office.
Born in Seoul, South Korea, the ambassador previously served as special representative for North Korea policy and deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs at the US State Department.
He also worked as US ambassador to Korea from 2011 to 2014.
He is married to Jae Eun Chung, and they have two daughters, the US embassy said.
The Philippine government earlier hailed the US for naming an "Asian" ambassador to the Philippines.
Philippine Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said this is "some form of signal that they want to be on a better cultural footing and create an understanding between Asians." – Rappler.com