U.S. President Obama nominates Sung Kim as ambassador to Philippines

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Barack Obama has nominated special representative for North Korea policy Sung Kim to be the next U.S. ambassador to the Philippines, according to a White House press statement.

Kim was one of seven individuals nominated by Obama to key administration posts on Thursday (May 19), the statement said.

“I am pleased to announce that these experienced and committed individuals have decided to serve our country. I look forward to working with them,” said Obama, who also nominated ambassadors to Greece, Iraq, Ukraine, Burundi and Laos.

The U.S. Senate has to confirm Kim's appointment before he can replace current U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg, who was assigned to Manila in December 2013.

Kim is a career member of the Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor. He is also a Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs at the Department of State.

His prior experience includes serving as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea from 2011 to 2014. Even before that he also served as Special Envoy for the Six Party Talks, Director of the Office of Korean Affairs, and Political Military Chief at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul.

A graduate of University of Pennsylvania, Kim earned a juris doctor degree from Loyola Law School. He also has an master of laws degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Kim's nomination for appointment came after Obama spoke over the phone with presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte. Obama commended the Philippines for its "vibrant democracy" following the country's elections and record voter participation.

"The President highlighted the enduring values that underpin our thriving alliance with the Philippines and the longstanding ties between our two peoples, including our shared commitments to democracy, human rights, rule of law, and inclusive economic growth," the statement from The White House read.