A Small, but Essential Victory

A few weeks ago, Paul Carroll wrote an op-ed in The Hill, urging approval of the pending appointment of Sung Kim as U.S. Ambassador to South Korea. 

Sung Kim, an experienced and competent professional who has worked on Korean issues for years as a senior U.S. diplomat, has been nominated to the post of U.S. Ambassador to South Korea. Our ally Seoul has indicated its support of the Kim nomination.

So why has an unknown Senator – presumed widely to be from the GOP - placed a “hold” on the process at precisely the time when North-South relations – and by extension U.S.-DPRK talks - are finally showing small signs of improvement?  

Last week, Paul's mystery Senator was revealed, only hours before Sung Kim was finally confirmed as Ambassador. Josh Rogin at Foreign Policy's the Cable has the story

"Jon Kyl is holding up Sung Kim and he won't budge," Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) told The Cable only two hours ago, over a drink just before President Lee Myung-bak was honored in a lunch with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joseph Biden. 

As Washington moves forward diplomatic efforts on the Korean peninsula, we can't allow petty politics to get in the way. Kim's approval is a small, but essential victory for the forces of reason and improves the chances of U.S. progress on North Korea's nuclear program. 

Photo by the U.S. Government