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Palace sees better US ties

Ambassador Sung Kim. PHOTO FROM STATE.GOV

Ambassador Sung Kim. PHOTO FROM STATE.GOV

Malacañang is looking forward to better relations with the United States with the arrival of its new ambassador to the Philippines, Korean-born Sung Kim.

“We welcome the new ambassador of the United States to the Philippines, and hope for better discussions, negotiations and diplomatic exchanges with the US,” said Assistant Communications Secretary Ana Marie Banaag, who took note of the new ambassador’s Asian descent.

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The Palace issued the statement hours before President Duterte’s scheduled congratulatory phone call to US President-elect Donald Trump late Friday evening.

Kim said he was eager to start his “adventure” in the country while strengthening ties between the two longtime allies which have been strained by President Duterte’s anti-American stance.

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“I’m finally here to be able to contribute to one of the most important partnerships, one of the most enduring partnerships,” Kim said in a brief statement late on Thursday after arriving on a flight from South Korea. “I am starting with my adventure first thing in the morning.”

Kim said there were “many important dimensions” to the relations of the two countries.

“But for me the most meaningful, the most fundamental, is the deep bond and the extraordinary bond between the peoples in the two countries,” he said.

He said he believes Filipinos and Americans have “a great deal of respect, affection and admiration” for each other.

“This is clearly evident in the four million Filipino-Americans in the US and the 250,000 Americans living and working in the Philippines,” Kim said. “I look forward to joining them to deepen the bond between the two peoples and, of course, I very much look forward to working with the Philippine government to strengthen this very important partnership between our two countries.”

“I am very confident that our relationship will continue to grow in the years to come,” he said.

The Philippine government has yet to formally accept Kim’s designation as the new US ambassador.

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Kim, 56, served as the US special representative for North Korea Policy prior to his posting in Manila. He was ambassador to South Korea and was also special envoy to the Six-Party Talks on North Korea’s nuclear weapons program involving South Korea, North Korea, United States, China, Japan and Russia.

Kim’s predecessor, Philip Goldberg, had a rough relationship with Mr. Duterte over the US envoy’s alleged meddling in Philippine politics during the final months of his tour.

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TAGS: Ana Marie Banaag, Sung Kim, US-PH relations, US-Philippine relations
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