U.S. envoy for N.K. expected to move to new role

WASHINGTON-- U.S. Special Envoy for North Korea Mark Lambert is expected to move to a new role within the State Department next month, a diplomatic source said Tuesday.

The move comes as denuclearization negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang have stalled since the no-deal summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in February.

Lambert was part of the U.S. delegation to the last round of working-level talks with North Korea in Sweden in October.

He and his North Korean counterpart, Kwon Jong-gun, had preliminary contact on the eve of the negotiations. Those talks ended without any agreement with the North accusing the U.S. of failing to come up with a new proposal.

Lambert's portfolio will likely be covered by Deputy Special Representative for North Korea Alex Wong, who is No. 2 to the chief U.S. negotiator, Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun.

Biegun, meanwhile, has been nominated as deputy secretary of state. If confirmed, he is expected to double as the top envoy for North Korea.

The two countries remain apart on how much the North should denuclearize in order to receive sanctions relief and other concessions from the United States.

Pyongyang has set the end of the year as the deadline for the negotiations and threatened to seek a "new way" if the talks collapse.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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