(From the left) Cho Yoon-je, Noh Young-min and Lee Su-hoon
South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday named Cho Yoon-je, visiting professor at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and former ambassador to the U.K., as the country’s new ambassador to the United States. The president tapped former lawmaker Noh Young-min as new ambassador to China and Lee Su-hoon, an international relations professor at Kyungnam University as top envoy to Japan.
The three new ambassadors to Korea’s major economic and diplomatic partners were named 112 days after President Moon took office in May.
Korea has requested an agreement - or a diplomatic approval - to the host countries in a procedure that is required before formally appointing the heads of diplomatic mission.
The appointments of top diplomats to key allies come as close ties with Washington, Beijing, and Tokyo are crucial to jointly address the looming dangers from North Korean nuclear and missile program.
U.S. Ambassador-designate Cho served as chief of Moon’s think tank during the presidential campaign and visited the European Union and Germany as a special presidential envoy in May. During the Roh Moo-hyun administration, Cho served as economic adviser to the president and as ambassador to the United Kingdom.
Cho was also former president of the Graduate School of International Studies at Sogang University. As a native of Busan, he studied commerce and trade at Seoul National University after graduating Gyeonggi High School. He earned a master’s and doctorate degrees in economy at Stanford University.
Noh is considered a confidant to the president and served as co-head of the organization team of Moon’s campaign committee. As a three-term lawmaker, he took on the role as head of trade, energy and industry committee at the National Assembly.
As a native of Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province, Noh studied business management at Yonsei University after graduating Cheongju High School.
Lee served as the head of security affairs section at the State Affairs Planning Advisory Committee after the presidential election. He outlined and elaborated on Moon’s key pledges of foreign affairs and national security. Lee led a presidential committee on Northeast Asian Cooperative Initiative under the Roh Moo-hyun administration and also headed the Institute for Far Eastern Studies at Kyungnam University.
As a native of Changwon, South Gyeongsang, Lee studied English Language and Literature at Pusan National University after graduating Masan High School. He earned a master’s degree in sociology at the University of Alabama and a doctorate in sociology at Johns Hopkins University.
By Kang Gye-man
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