Retired Navy Adm. Harry Harris was sworn in on Saturday as the United States' new ambassador to South Korea, taking the role at a tumultuous time on the Korean Peninsula.
Harris, who previously served as the commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, was confirmed by the Senate on Thursday in a voice vote.
Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoNorth Korean deception, or too-rigid doctrine? Too early to know Graham offers, withdraws amendment urging Trump address election meddling with Putin Trump to meet with Putin July 16 in Finland MORE congratulated Harris on his swearing in on Saturday, writing in a tweet that he has "a lot of work ahead" of him.
Harris is taking on the role at a key moment in U.S. involvement on the Korean Peninsula and East Asia, more broadly. His swearing in comes less than three weeks after President TrumpDonald John TrumpMike Huckabee: If Trump nominated Moses to the Supreme Court Dems would still be unhappy Trump admin likely to detain migrant families for months during immigration proceedings: report ICE chief to protesters: We're not the ones separating families MORE met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore, marking the first face-to-face talks between a sitting U.S. president and North Korean premier in history.
During the summit, the two leaders signed a brief document committing the U.S. to unspecified security guarantees for the North in exchange for Pyongyang agreeing to the eventual denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
Trump touted the agreement as a major success, declaring a day after the meeting that North Korea is "no longer a nuclear threat."
But an NBC News report on Friday appeared to cast doubt on whether the North is actually committed to denuclearization, saying that U.S. intelligence officials believe that the country has increased fuel production for nuclear weapons at several secret research facilities.