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Washington's pick for N.K. human rights envoy expected to work with nuclear team: source

All Headlines 10:56 October 03, 2009

SEOUL, Oct. 3 (Yonhap) -- Robert King, the nominee for the U.S. special envoy for North Korean human rights, is expected to also work as a member of Washington's team working on multilateral talks aimed at denuclearizing the communist country, a diplomatic source said Saturday.

"King is expected to work as a member of Stephen Bosworth's team, with Washington also considering including King in the expected bilateral talks between U.S. and North Korea," said a Seoul official privy on the matter, requesting to be unnamed.

Last month, King, a former Congressional aide and a member of the National Security Council under former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, was named special envoy on North Korean human rights issues, an ambassadorial post, replacing Jay Lefkowitz, who left the post in January after serving under former President George W. Bush. King awaits confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

Pyongyang recently invited Stephen Bosworth, U.S. special representative for North Korea policy, in an attempt to negotiate a breakthrough in the bilateral talks, but Washington insists it will have bilateral talks only within the six-party framework.

U.S. officials said they will make a decision on a possible trip to Pyongyang by Bosworth after Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao completes a North Korean trip next week to meet with Kim Jong-il for a possible concession from the North Korean leader.

"Whether King would actually take part in the actual negotiations remains unclear," the Seoul official said, noting that the special envoy's participation could invite opposition from North Korea.


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