The source in Seoul told the Chosun Ilbo U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently recommended Kim to the White House for the job "and most of the verification procedures have been completed," the newspaper reported Friday.
If he gets the job, the 50-year-old career U.S. Foreign Service officer would be the first ethnic Korean appointed to the position, the report said.
Kim became the special envoy for the six-party talks on North Korea's denuclearization in July 2008 and was given the rank of ambassador, an earlier U.S. State Department announcement said. Prior to that, he headed the Office of Korean Affairs.
He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and completed a degree in law from Loyola as well as a master's degree from the London School of Economics.
The Chosun Ilbo reported Kim is fluent in Korean and is regarded for his firmness during negotiations with North Korea. He and his wife have two daughters.