The former U.S. Ambassador to Seoul, Sung Kim, was appointed Wednesday by President Joe Biden as Acting Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the State Department.
He'll be overseeing diplomacy with countries including South Korea, China and Japan.
If he's nominated for the full assistant secretary position, he'll need to be confirmed by the Senate.
Under the Obama administration, the Korean-American diplomat served as U.S. Special Envoy for the Six-Party Talks and Special Representative for North Korea Policy.
In 2018, he played a key role in coordinating the Kim-Trump summit in Singapore while serving as U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines.
Experts say Kim was appointed because the Biden administration wanted a seasoned diplomat for Asia policy.
"People like Ambassador Sung Kim, who has great experiences with the State Department, need to pull off the policies that were planned from the White House in the Biden administration."
The expert added that Kim is also expected to engage in issues related to Pyeongyang as we do not know yet whether the Biden administration is going to nominate a special representative for North Korea policy, who would be the successor to Stephen Biegun.
"I believe that the [acting] assistant secretary of state has to deal with all the issues in East Asia, and that is why Ambassador Sung Kim is going to cover not only the East Asia issue, but also the North Korean denuclearization issue as well."
Kim is expected to work together with Secretary of State nominee Antony Blinken and his deputy nominee Wendy Sherman, both of whom have also been deeply engaged in North Korean affairs under previous administrations.
Yoon Jung-min, Arirang News.