Philip Goldberg, the new U.S. ambassador to South Korea, arrived in Korea on July 10 to begin his ambassadorial duties. After former U.S. Ambassador to Korea Harry Harris stepped down in January last year in time for President Joe Biden's inauguration, the ambassador’s seat in Korea has been empty for a year and a half.
Ambassador Goldberg arrived at Incheon International Airport on the same day and met with reporters and said, "Hello" in Korean. He then stressed in English, "As a global partner, we (Korea and the United States) can do many things together to provide more prosperity and security to the people of both countries."
He also said, "I plan to rest with a glass of soju to prepare for work tomorrow. Thanks to the bilateral summit in Washington, Korea-U.S. relations are moving toward a global partnership based on democratic values."
This is interpreted as meaning that President Yoon Suk-yeol and President Biden decided to develop the bilateral alliance into a "global comprehensive strategic alliance" in May.
He also said, "We look forward to dialogue with the media, the cornerstone of freedom in democratic countries."
Goldberg is considered a veteran diplomat. For him, Korea is the fourth ambassador after Bolivia, the Philippines, and Colombia.
In 2009-2010, during the Barack Obama administration, he served as the U.S. State Department's coordinator in charge of implementing U.N. sanctions against North Korea. At a confirmation hearing in the U.S. Senate in April, he called North Korea a "rogue regime."
Goldberg is expected to meet with South Korean government officials and focus on developing a unified strategy for dealing with North Korea between South Korea and the U.S. It is also likely to strengthen the existing military alliance and bolster the scope of the alliance to economic security.