Trump nominates Susan Thornton as top diplomat for East Asia

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has nominated a career foreign service member, Susan Thornton, as top U.S. diplomat for East Asia.

Thornton has been serving in the position in an acting capacity since soon after Trump took office.

The White House announced Tuesday Thornton's nomination to become assistant secretary of state for East Asia and the Pacific. The appointment requires Senate confirmation.

It's among many senior State Department positions unfilled nearly a year into Trump's term. Among its responsibilities are relations with China and nuclear-armed North Korea.

Thornton joined the department in 1991 and has been posted previously in China and former Soviet republics.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has long supported Thornton's nomination as assistant secretary but had faced White House opposition, including from former Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon.

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