October 19, 2017 09:37
Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha on Wednesday requested during a meeting with visiting U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan that Washington send a new ambassador to Seoul as soon as possible. The post has been empty since January.
Sullivan was visiting Seoul for talks over the North Korean issue.
"We really want to see an ambassador taking up the post," she said. "We fully respect U.S. procedures but hopefully this will be concluded very soon."
Sullivan stressed that the approval process takes time and was getting more stringent, citing his experience of going through it three times.
Former U.S. ambassador Mark Lippert stepped down in January when U.S. President Donald Trump was inaugurated. Since then, Deputy Chief of Mission Marc Knapper has been serving as chargé d'affaires.
The Trump administration nominated Victor Cha, a former State Department adviser and Asia expert, as the new ambassador to Seoul, but his approval has faced delays.
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