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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Senior U.S. Diplomat For North Korea To Retire


U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Policy Joseph Yun answers questions from reporters following meeting with Japan and South Korea chief nuclear negotiators in Tokyo
U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Policy Joseph Yun answers questions from reporters following meeting with Japan and South Korea chief nuclear negotiators to talk about North Korean issues at the Iikuraguest house in Tokyo, Japan April 25, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Yamanaka/Pool
February 27, 2018
SEOUL (Reuters) – The U.S. State Department’s special representative for North Korea policy, Joseph Yun, plans to retire for personal reasons, amid signs Pyongyang may be willing to talk with Washington.
Yun has led the U.S. diplomatic outreach to North Korea since taking his post under former U.S. President Barack Obama in 2016.
Yun traveled to North Korea last June to help secure the release of American student Otto Warmbier, whose subsequent death further soured relations between Washington and Pyongyang.
U.S. President Donald Trump has charted a more confrontational approach to North Korea and its nuclear weapons program, forcing Yun to often operate under mixed White House messages of impending military strikes as well as diplomatic overtures.
“Ambassador Joe Yun, a respected member of the Senior Foreign Service, has decided to retire for personal reasons,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson “has reluctantly accepted his decision and wished him ‎well,” she added.
Yun told CNN “it was completely my decision to retire at this time.”

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