US Formally Returns #BalangigaBells to the Philippines

State Department’s Robert Palladino who “serves as the @StateDept Deputy Spokesperson under the leadership of the 70th Secretary of State @SecPompeo announced at the Daily Press Briefing, December 11, 2018 the formal return of the Balangiga Bells to the Philippines:

I am pleased to announce that on December 11th, the United States formally returned the bells of Balangiga to the Philippines in a handover ceremony in Manila attended by Philippine Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana and U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim. The decision follows an extensive consultative process with associated United States veterans organizations and state government officials in accordance with legislative – American legislative requirements to ensure appropriate steps are taken to preserve the history of American service members associated with the bells. Philippine Government officials will transport the bells to the church from which they were removed over 100 years ago, where they will be treated with respect and honor they deserve.

The return of the bells of Balangiga demonstrates the enduring strength of the United States-Philippines alliance and the deep bonds of friendship between the peoples of our nations as we work together to advance a free and open Indo-Pacific. From World War II to today’s struggle to defeat ISIS and the scourge of terrorism, our nations have stood side by side. As we close the painful chapter in our shared history, our relationship has withstood the test of time and flourishes today. As an ally and friend of the Philippines, we will forever honor and respect this shared history.

See our previous post: U.S. to Return the #BalangigaBells to the Philippines After 117 Years

Advertisements

US Embassy Manila: Ambassador Sung Kim Presents His Credentials to President Duterte

Posted: 10:07 am PT
[twitter-follow screen_name=’Diplopundit’ ]

 

On November 4, Ambassador Sung Kim was sworn-in by Secretary Kerry as the new ambassador to the Philippines (see Secretary @JohnKerry Swears-In Sung Kim as U.S. Ambassador to the #Philippines. He arrived in the Philippines last week; had burgers and fries with his residence and security staff and has already been to a basketball game.   On December 6, he presented his credentials to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said the two spoke for around an hour without other officials in the room.  Ambassador Kim made a statement to the press at the Malacanang Palace after his meeting with the Philippine president.

 

#

Secretary @JohnKerry Swears-In Sung Kim as U.S. Ambassador to the #Philippines

Posted: 1:29 am ET
[twitter-follow screen_name=’Diplopundit’ ]

 

Meanwhile, in the Philippines ….

#

Ambassador Nomination: Sung Y. Kim — From North Korea Special Rep to the Philippines

Posted: 1:21  am ET
[twitter-follow screen_name=’Diplopundit’ ]

On May 18, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Sung Y. Kim as his nominee to be the next Ambassador to the Republic of the Philippines. The WH released the following brief bio:

Sung Y. Kim, a career member of the Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, is Special Representative for North Korea Policy and Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs at the Department of State, positions he has held since 2014.  Previously, he served as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea from 2011 to 2014, Special Envoy for the Six Party Talks with the rank of Ambassador from 2008 to 2011, and Director of the Office of Korean Affairs in the Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs from 2006 to 2008.  Mr. Kim was Political-Military Chief at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, Korea from 2002 to 2006.  Since joining the Foreign Service in 1988, Mr. Kim has also held positions at posts in Hong Kong, Japan, and Malaysia.  Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Mr. Kim was a Deputy District Attorney in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Mr. Kim received a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, a J.D. from Loyola Law School, and an LL.M. from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

US Ambassador to Seoul, Sung Kim with Psy (Photo via US Embassy/FB)

US Ambassador to Seoul, Sung Kim with Psy
(Photo via US Embassy/FB)

If confirmed, Ambassador Kim would succeed career diplomat, Philip Goldberg who was appointed chief of mission to the US Embassy in Manila in December 2013.

 

Related posts:

 

#

Thanksgiving Day 2012: Foreign Service Roundup

At US Embassy Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), the American staff and family members home cooked and served a real American Thanksgiving lunch for the embassy’s Malaysian employees.  Ambassador Paul Jones who helped serve lunch gave a shout out via FB to Victoria Station — “especially chef Haji Jean-Luc Lundy, Alex Lee and Vivian Low, for complementing our home cooked meal with delicious halal Thanksgiving dishes so that everyone could enjoy the occasion together.”

Photo from US Embassy KL/FB

The Thai-American celebrity chef Tommy Tang and Ambassador Kristie Kenney of  US Embassy Bangkok (Thailand) prepared a Thanksgiving feast together for the children at Duang Pratheep Foundation. The foundation founded in 1978 to address the problems that have its roots in poverty and deprivation.  Its permanent building which opened in 1992 is reportedly Thailand’s first comprehensive and resource center for the slum community.

Photo by US Embassy Bangkok/FB

Ambassador David Huebner of US Embassy Wellington (New Zealand)  at the annual Thanksgiving lunch with the Downtown Community Ministry.

Photo via US Embassy NZ/Flickr
(click on photo to view the slide show in Flickr)

At US Embassy Jakarta (Indonesia) Ambassador Scot Marciel and his wife Mae hosted around 100 young Indonesian alumni of U.S. exchange programs for Thanksgiving dinner at their residence.

Photo via US Embassy Jakarta/Flickr

At US Embassy Seoul (South Korea), Ambassador Sung Kim shares Thanksgiving dinner with English Teaching Assistants in The Fulbright Program.

Photo from US Embassy Seoul/FB

I hope you all have a good Thanksgiving week with loved ones and friends.  To readers, followers, friends and champions of this blog, thank you for your thoughtfulness and continued support. I learn something from you everyday. 

 

 

 

 

 

Gangnam Style Intern Flash “Mob” Invades US Embassy Seoul, Then Psy Shows Up

The Gangnam Style video by South Korean rapper Psy has been viewed over 480,000,000 million times on YouTube as of October 17, 2012.  So sorry did not get to see Ambassador Kim as the first Gangnam Style Ambassador but at least he got a “mob” of interns willing to do the dance. Check below at the 00:20 – 1:00 mark, where I would have chopped this video off:

And then what do you know?  Psy stopped by at the US Embassy in Seoul “on a visa matter.”  Well, not on the same day.  Ambassador Kim blogs that “Psy keeps getting asked to perform in the U.S.  The wonderful side effect is that we occasionally get to see him at the U.S. Embassy.”

 

US Ambassador to Seoul Sung Kim with Psy
(Photo via US Embassy/FB)


That’s Psy without his blue jacket and eyeglasses and no crazy horse riding dance this time.  Psy reportedly got an “O” visa for “aliens of extraordinary ability.”  And like all visa applicants, he was interviewed, fingerprinted and had a chit-chat with the ambassador.  🙂