U.S. ambassador pays courtesy call on DFA chief Locsin

MANILA, Philippines – US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim paid a courtesy call on newly appointed Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro "Teddyboy" Locsin two weeks after the Philippines' new top diplomat took office.

The meeting took place on Wednesday, October 31. 

"Delighted to meet with new Secretary of Foreign Affairs Teddy Locsin today. Great discussion on our shared priorities. I very much look forward to working closely together," Kim tweeted on Wednesday.

On Thursday, November 1, Locsin commented that Kim's insights on the Korean Peninsula have been useful for him since the ambassador shared these with him in 2016.

Kim is a veteran US diplomat and an expert on Korean affairs. In May, he even led preparations for the historic June 12 meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. 

Born in Seoul, South Korea, Kim previously served as special representative for North Korea policy and deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs at the US State Department.

Kim was a former nuclear negotiator with North Korea. He also worked as US ambassador to South Korea from 2011 to 2014.

"I've been running on his insights on the Korean peninsula since he shared them with me two years ago," Locsin tweeted on Thursday.

Kim's courtesy call on Locsin follows the phone call of US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo to the Philippines' new DFA chief. 

During the phone call, Pompeo "reaffirmed the longstanding US-Philippines alliance," and also discussed with Locsin the "ongoing efforts to address regional issues such as North Korea, the South China Sea, and counterterrorism."

Kim's courtesy call also comes days after China's top diplomat, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, visited Davao City and held a bilateral meeting with Locsin.

During Wang's trip, he and Locsin witnessed the signing of 3 agreements between the Philippines and China covering humanitarian assistance, law enforcement, and infrastructure. – Rappler.com

Paterno R. Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II is a senior reporter leading Rappler’s coverage of religion and foreign affairs. He finished MA Journalism in Ateneo and MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.

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