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North Korea

New US envoy for North Korea Stephen Biegun to visit Seoul, Beijing, Tokyo next week ahead of Kim Jong-un, Moon Jae-in summit

Biegun will ‘continue diplomatic efforts to achieve the final, fully verified denuclearisation of North Korea’, says the US State Department

PUBLISHED : Friday, 07 September, 2018, 12:32am
UPDATED : Friday, 07 September, 2018, 5:40am

The United States’ new envoy to North Korea will make his first trip to South Korea, China and Japan next week for talks with officials of the three countries on ways to denuclearise Pyongyang, the US State Department said Thursday.

The trip by Stephen Biegun, who was named the US special representative to North Korea last month, comes ahead of a summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and the North’s leader, Kim Jong-un, on September 18-20 in Pyongyang.

Biegun will travel to Seoul, Beijing and Tokyo from Monday through Saturday, the department said in a statement, without providing details on his itinerary.

“The special representative will meet with his counterparts and continue diplomatic efforts to achieve the final, fully verified denuclearisation of North Korea as agreed to by Chairman Kim in Singapore,” it said.

The statement was referring to a commitment US officials say Kim, chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea, expressed during a meeting with US President Donald Trump in June in the city state in what became the first-ever summit between the two countries.

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A former vice-president of international governmental affairs for Ford Motor Co., Biegun has experience on foreign policy at the White House and on Capitol Hill, serving as executive secretary of the National Security Council under President George W. Bush and as chief of staff for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.