Stephen Biegun to focus on denuclearization, will not take up Russia post

US Ambassador to North Korea Stephen Biegun said Wednesday that he wants to focus on denuclearization of North Korea and will remain on his position as an ambassador in Pyongyang, Reuters reported.

US President Donald Trump previously said he was considering Biegun as a new envoy to Moscow as Jon Huntsman, acting ambassador, is to step down in October and run for governor of Utah. However, Biegun stated he will not be taking the post in Russia.

The envoy to North Korea visited South Korea Wednesday to hold a meeting with government officials. He claimed that the US is ready to restore denuclearization talks with North Korea and now waiting for the North Korean leader to express his readiness as well.

“I am fully committed to this important mission, and we will get this done. We are prepared to engage soon as we hear from our counterparts in North Korea,” Biegun said.

When asked about leaving the post in North Korea and going to Russia, Biegun told reporters he “will not be taking up a diplomatic posting in the Russian Federation.”

“I will remain focused on making progress on North Korea,” he said.

According to a source with knowledge of the matter, President Trump is going to nominate John Sullivan, Deputy Secretary of State, for the post of the US Ambassador to Russia.

US-North Korean talks on denuclearization have been stalled for six months, yet according to President Trump, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said in a letter that the talks may be restarted as soon as US-South Korean joint military drills end. The military exercises, condemned by North Korea, came to an end on Tuesday, which opens a door for US-North Korea cooperation on denuclearization.


Natalia Veselnitskaya — official website