[JURIST] AP is reporting that President Bush has picked Under Secretary of State John Bolton [official profile] to be US ambassador to the United Nations [US Mission to the UN official website], according to a government official "knowledgeable about the move". Bolton, regarded as a conservative hardliner on foreign policy issues and a stauch opponent of the UN-sponsored International Criminal Court [JURIST report], indicated earlier this year that he would be leaving the State Department after incoming Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice chose US Trade Reprentative Robert Zoellick as her deputy. If nominated and confirmed, Bolton would succeed outgoing US ambassador to the UN John Danforth, who had attempted to strike a more conciliatory tone in his brief time in the position following the departure of John Negroponte, who left to become US ambassador to Iraq and is now poised to become the new Director of National Intelligence.
2:15 PM ET - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's remarks this afternoon announcing Bolton's nomination - together with Bolton's response - are now online from the State Department.
5:30 PM ET - UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has "warmly congratulated" Bolton on his appointment, and says he looks forward to working with him on UN reform and other issues. The UN News Center has more.