S. Korea welcomes Trump’s new pick for U.S. ambassador

SEOUL, South Korea on Saturday hailed U.S. President Donald Trump's nomination of Admiral Harry Harris, head of the U.S. Pacific Command, as Washington's top envoy to Seoul.

South Korea and the United States have been closely consulting to ensure Harris can quickly assume his post, an official from the Foreign Ministry said.

The official also said South Korea expects Harris to contribute to strengthening the Korea-U.S. alliance and friendship.

The White House made the announcement on Friday ahead of next month's summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore.

Trump is set to meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in next week in Washington.

If confirmed by the Senate, Harris will serve as Washington's top envoy to Seoul at a time when the allies have been seeking close coordination on a range of issues, including North Korea's nuclear weapons program and bilateral trade.

Harris has led the U.S. Pacific Command in Hawaii since May 2015, overseeing the 28,500-strong U.S. Forces Korea and waters near the Korean Peninsula.

The ambassadorship to South Korea has been vacant since Mark Lippert, who served in the position from 2014-2017, ended his term in January last year.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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