Washington (CNN) - The U.S. Senate confirmed Sung Y. Kim to be the next U.S. Ambassador to South Korea on Thursday after a Republican Senator lifted a hold on the nomination that threatened to halt the current momentum in strengthening ties between the two countries.
Following a unanimous consent request by Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) to move the nomination forward, Kerry's request was approved without objection. Kim's confirmation came just minutes before South Korean President Lee Myung-bak was to address a joint meeting of Congress, and a few hours before President Obama was set to host a State dinner at the White House in Lee's honor.
PREVIOUSLY: Guess who is not coming to the South Korea state dinner?