WASHINGTON -- South Korea's new ambassador to the United States took office Tuesday, calling for "strategic, creative and bold" diplomacy at a critical juncture in Korean and global affairs.
Speaking at his inauguration ceremony at the South Korean Embassy in Washington, Amb. Cho Yoon-je also underscored the importance of maintaining a firm South Korea-US alliance, the embassy said in a statement.
Cho "stressed the need to conduct strategic, creative and at times bold diplomacy" in order to advance the national interest at a critical time for the Korean Peninsula and the world, it said.
In this photo provided by the South Korean Embassy in Washington, Amb. Cho Yoon-je delivers remarks at his inauguration ceremony at the embassy on Nov. 14, 2017. (Yonhap)
"Also, the South Korea-US alliance has served as the backbone for defending peace on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia and for achieving the Republic of Korea's prosperity over the past 70 years," he was quoted as saying.
The ambassador then urged his staff to be on the forefront of efforts to deepen the trust between the allies and expand their cooperation for the national interest.
Upon taking office, Cho laid a wreath at the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington.
He plans to present his credentials to President Donald Trump once the US domestic procedures are completed.
The new envoy was appointed by President Moon Jae-in in August. He previously served as presidential adviser on economic affairs during the Roh Moo-hyun government from 2003-2005 and as ambassador to Britain from 2005 to 2008.
He is known to have provided Moon with advice on economic issues prior to his election in May.
His expertise on the economy is expected to be a boon for Seoul as it takes steps to amend the bilateral free trade agreement with Washington. But critics are skeptical of his ability to handle issues related to the North Korean nuclear threat. (Yonhap)