H.E. Ambassador KIM Sook joins the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (Shorenstein APARC) during the 2014-2015 academic year. He is a high-ranking career diplomat with more than thirty-five years of experience in foreign service and intelligence, with key postings in Washington, D.C., New York, New Delhi, San Francisco, Toronto, and within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) in Korea. He is well regarded for his expertise in Korea-US relations, Inter-Korean relations and the North Korean nuclear issue.
Amb. Kim most recently served as the Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations from July 2011 to September 2013. Having overseen a successful campaign for nonpermanent membership to the Security Council (2013-14), Amb Kim led the ROK delegation in the Security Council’s activities in 2013. As President of the Security Council for the month of February in 2013, Amb Kim led the Council effectively by addressing a variety of regional conflicts issues and deftly handled the Council’s action regarding North Korea’s ballistic missile launch and third nuclear test. Amb. Kim also served as a Co-Chair for the Bureau of the Preparatory Process of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) and President of the Executive Board of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) in 2012 during his tenure in New York.
Just before his ambassadorship to the United Nations, Amb. Kim was First Deputy Director for the National Intelligence Service (NIS) from 2009, where he worked extensively on national security, including intelligence, preemption of security threats, and regional security issues. Amb. Kim has also served as Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs at MOFAT in Seoul. In that capacity, he led the ROK delegation in the Six-Party talks on the North Korean nuclear issue, twice in 2008, as head of the Korean government delegation. He was Ambassador for public diplomacy on Korea-US relations in 2006 and Director-General of the North American Affairs Bureau at MOFAT in Seoul in 2004. Prior to that, he worked as a Senior Research Officer, Department of American Studies, at the Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security (IFANS), after serving as Consul-General in Toronto, Canada. Earlier in his career, he also worked as a Director of North America Division and Director for Personnel at MOFAT.
Amb. Kim began his diplomatic career in 1978; his first foreign post was at the Korean Embassy in the United States of America in Washington, D.C. Amb. Kim earned a Sociology degree from Seoul National University, where he graduated in 1977, after serving in the Korean Army from 1973 to 1976.