UPDATED 1:41 PM PT – Saturday, May 22, 2021
During a public meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday, Joe Biden tapped career diplomat Sung Kim to lead the White House’s North Korean policy, making Kim the new special U.S. envoy for North Korea.
Kim has served in the State Department for decades and was appointed to several ambassadorships in East Asia, including in South Korea and the Philippines. His background also includes serving as special envoy to multilateral six-party talks with North Korea during the Obama administration.
Remarks by Pres.Moon(@moonriver365) at Expanded ROK-U.S. Summit
“Korea will closely work with the United States to achieve complete denuclearization and establish permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula.”
— The Office of President Moon Jae-in (@TheBlueHouseENG) May 22, 2021
Biden said his hope is that Kim’s deep policy expertise will help reduce tensions with North Korea. President Moon commended the appointment, highlighting Kim’s diplomatic skills he has developed over his long career studying the region.
This has surfaced as American and South Korean diplomats have been working to de-escalate tensions with North Korea and dismantle their nuclear capabilities.