August 26, 2014 13:08
U.S. President Barrack Obama is reshuffling staff handling North Korea policy.
Obama named Sydney Seiler, the Korean policy chief at the White House National Security Council, as chief U.S. nuclear negotiator.
The post has been vacant for over a year while no significant talks with the North have taken place since six-party talks collapsed.
Seiler will likely be succeeded by Allison Hooker, an East Asia-Pacific affairs analyst at the State Department.
The chief U.S. nuclear negotiator, concurrently the deputy special representative for North Korea policy, mainly engages in informal negotiations with the North Korean UN representative.
The post has been vacant since his predecessor, Clifford Hart, was appointed consul general to Hong Kong in June last year.
Meanwhile, U.S. Ambassador to Korea Sung Kim will reportedly replace Glyn Davies as special representative for North Korea policy. Davies is expected to be named as ambassador to a major Asian country later this year.
Kim will concurrently serve as deputy assistant secretary of State for East Asia-Pacific affairs. He will probably return to Washington around year's end, when Mark Lippert is approved by the Senate as his successor.
But despite the staff shakeup, there seems no big change in the U.S.' North Korea policy in the offing.
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