Washington: US President Donald Trump has nominated Stephen Biegun, the Special Representative for North Korea, to become the next deputy secretary of state. The White House made the announcement on Thursday.
Biegun would replace John Sullivan, who was nominated to serve as the next U.S. ambassador to Russia. Both positions require Senate confirmation.
Biegun had a prominent role in the delicate negotiations that led to historic meetings between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. He also led the so-far unsuccessful negotiations to get North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.
North Korea said in early October that talks with the United States had broken off after the first working-level meeting in seven months was held in Sweden.
A senior official at the State Department said that Biegun will continue to be involved in the negotiations with North Korea.
Before returning to government service in 2018, Biegun was vice president of international government relations for Ford Motor Co.
He has more than two decades of service in both the executive and legislative branches of government.
In Congress, he was national security adviser to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, chief of staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a senior staff member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
At the White House, he was executive secretary at the National Security Council. Biegun’s nomination has been expected since mid-September, but its timing has been unclear amid turmoil in the State Department over the House impeachment inquiry into the administration’s policy toward Ukraine.