US Special Envoy on North Korea Retires After Trump Rejects Talks

Yun has been pushing direct diplomacy for years

US special envoy on North Korea Joseph Yun, an advocate of direct diplomacy with the reclusive nation since 2016 has informed the State Department of his intention to retire on Friday.

Joseph Yun

Though he didn’t offer a specific statement on this sudden decision, it came immediately after President Trump’s most recent comments spurning direct talks with North Korea without massive preconditions.

Though North Korea has expressed willingness to talk, the White House has made clear that they will only talk if they are guaranteed that total nuclear disarmament of North Korea results before the talks themselves begin.

Yun confirmed that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson tried to convince him to say, but that he believes this was a “good time to get out.” State Department officials say no policy changes on North Korea will result from the retirement.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of