New U.S. envoy arrives in Manila: ‘Wish me luck’

Paterno R. Esmaquel II

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New U.S. envoy arrives in Manila: ‘Wish me luck’
In his arrival speech, US Ambassador-designate Sung Kim praises 'the deep bond and the extraordinary warmth' between Filipinos and Americans

MANILA, Philippines –  US Ambassador-designate to the Philippines Sung Kim arrived in Manila around 10 pm on Thursday, December 1, as he hailed the “deep bond” between Filipinos and Americans.

“Wish me luck. I’m very confident that our relationship will continue to grow and deepen in the years to come,” Kim said in his arrival speech at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Thursday evening.

Kim explained that the US’ ties with the Philippines is “one of America’s most enduring partnerships.”

“There are many important dimensions to that relationship. But for me, the most meaningful, the most fundamental, is the deep bond and the extraordinary warmth between the peoples of the two countries,” Kim said. 

“I think there is a great deal of respect, affection, and admiration between Americans and Filipinos,” he added.

Kim also said, “I look forward to meeting as many Filipinos as possible and visiting many beautiful places in the Philippines.”

Kim replaced Ambassador Philip Goldberg, the subject of tirades from Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. The President, for one, called Goldberg “gay” and denounced Washington as “hypocritical” for meddling in Manila’s affairs.

Kim took his oath as US ambassador to the Philippines on November 3. 

Born in Seoul, South Korea, the ambassador 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. 

He also worked as US ambassador to Korea from 2011 to 2014.

The next step for Kim is to present his credentials to Duterte before he can officially begin his work. – Rappler.com

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Paterno R. Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II is a senior multimedia reporter covering religion for Rappler. He also teaches journalism at the University of Santo Tomas. For story ideas or feedback, email pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.