Trump names new US ambassador to Vietnam

By AFP   July 26, 2017 | 06:39 pm PT
Daniel Kritenbrink currently works as senior advisor for North Korea policy at State Department and once worked as deputy chief of mission in Beijing.

National Security Council Senior Director for Asian Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink. Photo courtesy of U.S Department of State. 

President Donald Trump has nominated Daniel Kritenbrink, a career diplomat with extensive experience in Asian affairs, to be U.S. ambassador to Vietnam, the White House said Wednesday.

The Virginia native has been a diplomat since 1994 and currently works as senior advisor for North Korea policy at State Department, the White House said in a statement.

Kritenbrink once worked as deputy chief of mission in Beijing and speaks Chinese and Japanese, the statement said.

"Kritenbrink has deep experience in east Asian affairs including service for the past two years as the senior officer for Asia and Pacific on the National Security Council," David Brown, a retired veteran U.S. diplomat, said.

"His intimate knowledge of the foreign policy 'process' and close relationships with other senior Asia hands will be a key to Kritenbrink's effectiveness in Hanoi," Brown told VnExpress International.

Kritenbrink will need the confirmation by the U.S. Senate before being posted in Vietnam.

"What's not known is how soon the Senate will schedule hearings and a vote on his appointment. The State Department will urge prompt action so that Kritenbrink will be at his post in Hanoi before President Trump travels to Vietnam in November," Brown said.

"However, the Congress is tied up in knots, and its consideration of diplomatic appointments will likely have low priority."

The current U.S. ambassador to Vietnam, Ted Osius, was nominated by President Barack Obama in May 2014. Osius is expected to conclude his term by the end of this year.

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