U.S. May Reassign North Korea Envoy: Report

Global Security Newswire Staff
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Global Security Newswire Staff
June 13, 2014, 8:43 a.m.

The United States is ex­pec­ted to re­as­sign its spe­cial en­voy on North Korea is­sues and may not re­place him, the Korea Times re­por­ted on Fri­day.

Glyn Dav­ies, the cur­rent U.S. spe­cial rep­res­ent­at­ive for North Korea policy, is seen as a top can­did­ate for the post of U.S. am­bas­sad­or to Thai­l­and, uniden­ti­fied sources told the news­pa­per. Dav­ies, who has served as spe­cial en­voy since early 2012, is an­ti­cip­ated to be re­as­signed in the com­ing months.

However, it is not clear that the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion will re­tain the dip­lo­mat­ic post of spe­cial en­voy for North Korea fol­low­ing years of zero pro­gress on the de­nuc­lear­iz­a­tion front, ac­cord­ing to the Times.

Dav­ies brokered a nuc­le­ar and mis­sile-test­ing morator­i­um with Py­ongy­ang in early 2012 but the deal fell apart when the North sev­er­al weeks later launched a space rock­et — tech­no­logy with dir­ect im­plic­a­tions on the de­vel­op­ment of in­ter­con­tin­ent­al bal­list­ic mis­siles. Oth­er than that still­born ac­cord, no ser­i­ous nuc­le­ar dis­cus­sions have taken place since late 2008.

Mean­while, of­fi­cial Syr­i­an me­dia are re­port­ing that Dam­as­cus and Py­ongy­ang agreed in late May to deep­en their col­lab­or­a­tion on sci­ence, tech­no­logy and in­dus­tri­al man­u­fac­tur­ing, the Yon­hap News Agency re­por­ted.

The Syr­ia-North Korea re­la­tion­ship is closely watched by the United States and oth­er coun­tries due to pro­lif­er­a­tion con­cerns. Dam­as­cus is be­lieved by de­fense ex­perts to have been able to re­build mis­sile man­u­fac­tur­ing cap­ab­il­it­ies hurt by the Syr­i­an Civil War with help from North Korea. Dip­lo­mat­ic sources in 2012 said the North was caught at­tempt­ing to smuggle bal­list­ic mis­sile com­pon­ents to Syr­ia. And Py­ongy­ang is widely as­sumed to have provided Dam­as­cus with tech­nic­al sup­port to build an un­declared mil­it­ary re­act­or that was des­troyed in a 2007 Is­raeli air strike.

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