Sung Kim

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His Excellency
Sung Kim
Ambassador Sung Kim.jpg
United States Ambassador to South Korea
In office
October 13, 2011 – October 2014
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Kathleen Stephens
Succeeded by Mark Lippert
U.S. Special Envoy for
Six-Party Talks
In office
July 31, 2008 – October 13, 2011
President George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Preceded by Cameron Munter
Personal details
Born 1960 (age 54–55)
Seoul, South Korea
Alma mater University of Pennsylvania (BA), Loyola Law School (JD), London School of Economics (Master's)

Sung Kim (born 1960) is the former United States Ambassador to South Korea. He previously served as the U.S. Special Envoy for the Six-Party Talks.

Early life and education[edit]

Sung Kim was born in Seoul, South Korea in 1960 to a South Korean diplomat and moved to the United States in 1973 following his father's posting in Tokyo.[1] Kim grew up in Los Angeles and is a graduate of University of Pennsylvania (BA), Loyola Law School (JD), London School of Economics (Master's degree).

Professional career[edit]

Before joining the foreign service at United States State Department, Kim worked as public prosecutor at the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office.

He then worked as Staff Assistant in the Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs in Washington, D.C.. Kim was then assigned to United States Embassy in Seoul and worked as the Chief of Political Military Affairs. He then served as a Political Officer in Tokyo, Japan. His other assignments were to Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong. Back in Washington, he was appointed Director of the Office of Korean Affairs and served in the position from August 2006 to July 2008. On July 31, 2008 he was appointed Special Envoy for the Six-Party talks and accorded the rank of an ambassador after confirmation of nomination by the U.S. Senate.[2]

Ambassador to South Korea[edit]

On June 24, 2011, President Obama nominated Kim to be the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea.[3] However, Kim's nomination stalled after U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl placed a hold[4] on Kim's nomination over concerns not with Kim but with U.S. policy toward North Korea. On October 13, 2011 Kyl lifted his hold on Kim's nomination and the Senate confirmed Kim by unanimous consent.[5][6]

Kim completed his assignment to South Korea in late October 2014 and returned to the United States, where he was expected to continue to work on diplomacy involving East Asia. Mark Lippert was sworn in to succeed Kim as ambassador on Oct. 24, 2014, in Washington.

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "U.S. State Department. Biography. Sung Kim". Retrieved 2011-02-04. 
  3. ^ "President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts". =White House Press Release. 2011-06-24. Retrieved 2011-10-13. 
  4. ^ "U.S., South Korean presidents hail trade deal". CNN. 2011-10-13. Retrieved 2011-10-13. 
  5. ^ "Today's Senate Floor Log". US Senate. 2011-10-13. Retrieved 2011-10-13. 
  6. ^ Josh Rogin (2011-10-13). "U.S. Ambassador to South Korea finally confirmed". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 2011-10-13. 
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Kathleen Stephens
Ambassador of United States to South Korea
Succeeded by
Mark Lippert