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2008/04/23 06:43 KST
Senate committee approves U.S. envoy nomination

   WASHINGTON, April 22 (Yonhap) -- The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday approved the nomination of Kathleen Stephens as U.S. ambassador to Seoul.

   Her nomination now goes to the Senate floor to make the confirmation official. A vote is expected as early as this week.

   A career diplomat who has been an adviser for East Asia and Pacific affairs at the State Department, Stephens will the first American female ambassador to Seoul. She was recommended as the single candidate for the post.

   She began her foreign service career in 1978 and served twice in South Korea, most recently as principal officer at the consulate in Busan in 1987-1989, and as internal political unit chief from 1984-1987 in Seoul.

   She also taught English at a high school as a Peace Corps volunteer in South Korea.