US President Barack Obama on Friday named Christopher Hill, who has long been American envoy to the North Korean nuclear talks, as the new US ambassador to Iraq.
Speaking to US Marines at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, Obama said Hill has shown the "pragmatism and skill" that is now needed in Iraq.
As Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Hill has worked for almost four years as the chief of the US delegation to the so-called six-party talks, a multilateral mechanism on the North Korean nuclear standoff.
The six parties - the US, Russia, China, Japan and the two Koreas - ended their third meeting during the sixth round of talks last December in Beijing without substantial progress on how to verify the communist country's nuclear facilities.
Hill also served as a negotiator in the crises in Bosnia and Kosovo.