Admiral Harris has previously made it clear that the biggest threat to the Asia-Pacific region is North Korea
[ Learn more: Who is Harry Harris, Trump's ambassador to South Korea? ]
"Our most volatile and dangerous threat is North Korea's search for nuclear weapons and the ability to deliver them intercontinently," he said during a Senate hearing for his Admiralty post.
"Our Collective Efforts Among the Challenges," he said, "underscore the importance of America remaining strong and committed to the region." He continued, "The American leadership is important."
Mr. Trump plans to meet with Mr. Kim in May or June. The date and place of the meeting have not yet been determined.
Australia is a close military ally of the United States and a bulwark against China's growing military strength in the Asia-Pacific region. Mr. Trump nominated Admiral Harris in February to become Australia's next ambassador. The United States has had no ambassador there since John Berry left the post in September 2016.
Admiral Harris was in Washington this week for a Senate confirmation hearing on his nomination for the Australian Post. Ms. Bishop said she had been informed that he would not take on the job of John Trump's acting secretary of state, John Sullivan.
The maneuvers illustrate that some allies in the Trump Administration's diplomatic corps see a worrying situation unfilled
Mr. Trump's nomination of Mike Pompeo as foreign minister was approved by the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee by a narrow margin on Monday. But he still awaits the approval of the entire Senate before he can fill the position that Rex W. Tillerson had held for only a year before Mr. Trump had fired him last month.
The government has only a few weeks to lay the groundwork for the upcoming talks with Mr Kim, and the deployment of South Korea is an urgent matter.
Each new ambassador to Seoul will play a role in clarifying complicated issues, including Mr. Trump's demand that North Korea be returned to the nuclear and imprisoned Americans. Mr. Trump sent Mr. Pompeo to Pimong this month to meet Mr. Kim to lay the groundwork for the negotiations.
The Trump government hopes to have Admiral Harris in Seoul in May or June after hearings could take place two weeks
Australian Foreign Secretary Bishop attempted to downplay Washington's decision to send Admiral Harris to Seoul. She said that Mr. Sullivan, the acting Secretary of State, assured her that once Mr. Pompeo was confirmed, the occupation of the Australian job would be a priority.
"That's not unusual," said Mrs. Bishop about the surprising move. "It has happened before, but we look forward to having a new ambassador appointed as soon as possible."
Relations between the two closest allies have been shattered since the early days of the Trump administration with Mr Trump and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of Australia is about to embark on a heated telephone discussion about the resettlement of refugees shortly after Trump's inauguration. But relations have improved as the two have found a common ground on issues such as China and the conflict with North Korea.
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