The Senate has confirmed the appointment of the first Korean-American to become U.S. ambassador to South Korea.
Career diplomat Sung Kim previously served as special envoy for six-nation talks on North Korea's nuclear program.
His confirmation Thursday came during a state visit by South Korean President Lee Myung-bak after a Republican senator blocking the appointment lifted his objection.
Kim replaces Kathleen Stephens as ambassador.
Lee's visit also expedited congressional approval of a long-delayed U.S.-South Korean trade agreement on Wednesday.