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U.S. Senate sets hearing on Sung Kim's nomination

The U.S. Senate plans to hold a confirmation hearing for Sung Kim, the nominee to become ambassador to South Korea, next week, a related committee announced Thursday.

The hearing will be held on Thursday at the Dirksen Senate Office Building, presided over by Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA), the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations said. He is chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs.

Last month, President Barack Obama nominated Kim, a career diplomat with expertise in Korean affairs, as his new top envoy to South Korea.

If confirmed, Kim will replace Kathleen Stephens and become the first person of Korean origin to serve as U.S. ambassador to Seoul.

Kim immigrated to the U.S. in the 1970s and obtained U.S. citizenship in 1980.

Many expect Kim's nomination to be approved relatively smoothly since the Senate confirmed him in 2009 for his current position.

He has served as special envoy to the six-party talks on the North Korean nuclear program since July 2008, after heading the Office of Korean Affairs at the department for two years. He worked at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul as political-military unit chief from 2002 to 2006.

Meanwhile, the U.S. plans to name Clifford Hart, foreign policy adviser to the chief of naval operations, as special envoy to the six-way talks, according to multiple sources. (Yonhap News)



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