The U.S. Senate recently unanimously approved retired Navy Adm. Harry Harris, the former head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (PACOM), to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to South Korea.
Harris will fill a critical ambassadorial appointment that has been vacant for 17 months, since January 2017. The former U.S. Ambassador to South Korea was Mark Lippert.
“I have known Harry Harris for many years in his service to the U.S. Navy. I trust his judgment and remain confident that he always has the best interest of the United States and Hawaii in his heart when he is interacting with our partners and allies in the Asia Pacific,” Sen. Brian Schatz said, The Diplomat reported.
On June 28, Retired Admiral Harry Harris was confirmed to serve as the next ambassador to South Korea. What can we expect as he steps in to fill this important role in U.S.-ROK relations, especially amid the new flurry of negotiations with North Korea? https://t.co/4SUhl4TNuG https://t.co/H7VTsy4HrI
— NK NEWS (@nknewsorg) July 5, 2018
“Ambassador Harris will help guide U.S. policy in the crucial months ahead as the United States continues to pursue diplomacy with North Korea and ensure that the U.S.-Republic of Korea alliance remains strong,” Schatz added.
Harris was a common critic of China’s island building in the South China Sea, according to the Star Advertiser.
Harris stepped down in May from PACOM.
The day he left, U.S. Pacific Command was renamed the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command to reflect evolving priorities, including closer ties with India and a “great power” competition with China.
Adm. Phil Davidson became the new head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.