US's North Korea envoy quits after Trump rejects talks with rogue nation

N.Korea avoids sanctions by changing ship names

N.Korea avoids sanctions by changing ship names

He said his decision to retire was entirely his own but it comes at a surprising juncture, just as South Korea relayed that the North is open to direct discussions with the US.

North Korean diplomats repeatedly spar with U.S. officials at the disarmament body in Geneva, a venue where the bitter rivals argue face-to-face.

Joseph Yun, the State Department's special representative for North Korea policy, announced his resignation by the end of this week due to personal reasons.

In addition to the sanctions imposed on worldwide shipping companies, OFAC designated 16 North Korean shipping companies pursuant to Executive Order 13810 for operating in the transportation industry of North Korea and blocked 19 of their North Korean-flagged vessels.

North Korea is offering to talk to the USA, but the American diplomat best suited for such a task has suddenly chose to leave the Department of State.

Yun, a former USA ambassador to Malaysia, has been the state department's point-man for its limited contact with the North Korean government through a back channel at the nation's diplomatic mission to the United Nations in NY.

"I'm completely convinced that President Trump and his team reject the policy of containment", Graham told CNN.

North Korea has repeatedly insisted its nuclear weapons are not a subject for negotiation. He said the North's nuclear and missile programs are self-defense measures against hostile USA policies toward Pyongyang.

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The "US should (be) aware that sanctions and pressure will never threaten (North Korea) and never work", said Han Tae Song, Pyongyang's envoy to the UN Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.

At a public forum last month, CIA Director Mike Pompeo said, "The President is intent on delivering a solution through diplomatic means", adding that, "we are equally, at the same time, ensuring that if we conclude that is not possible that we present the President with a range of options that can achieve his stated intention".

"It's definitely sad news", said Andrei Lankov, a North Korea expert at Kookmin University in Seoul.

Over the weekend, North Korean indicated in a meeting with South Koreans that they are ready for talks with the U.S. "Otherwise we're not talking", he said.

But no sooner had the North and the United States declared their willingness to talk to each other - something they have in fact done before - than it became clear that the two sides remained stubbornly far apart. That's my attitude. We'll see what happens.

But his authority to negotiate with North Korea appeared to be undercut by the tug-of-war between the White House and State Department over the direction of North Korea policy under President Donald Trump.

"In order to have diplomacy, you usually need diplomats", he said.

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