South Korea appoints top nuclear envoy

Seoul, Feb 29 (IANS) South Korea’s Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Hong-kyun was on Monday appointed as the country’s chief envoy handling the North Korean nuclear issue, the ministry said.

Kim replaced Hwang Joon-kook as special representative for Korean peninsula peace and security affairs, who serves as Seoul’s top envoy to the now-stalled six-party talks on North Korea’s denuclearisation, Yonhap reported.

Hwang will now serve as Seoul’s ambassador to London, it said.

Since joining the foreign service in 1984, Kim has mostly handled North America and North Korea affairs, including as director-general of the Korean Peninsula Peace Regime Bureau from 2009-2012.

During that time, he handled South Korea’s response to North Korea’s deadly attacks on a South Korean warship and border island in 2010 as well as the death of then North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in 2011.

Kim has also worked at the South Korean embassies in Thailand and Belgium and at the Presidential Office Cheong Wa Dae.

Deputy Minister Kim Hyoung-zhin replaced Kim Hong-kyun as deputy foreign minister for political affairs.

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