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CIA official in charge of Korea to depart at year-end: sources

All News 03:35 November 28, 2018

WASHINGTON/SEOUL, Nov. 27 (Yonhap) -- A senior U.S. Central Intelligence Agency official in charge of Korea affairs will resign at the end of the year, multiple sources said Tuesday.

Andrew Kim, head of the CIA's Korea Mission Center, has tendered his resignation effective Dec. 20 to move to a research post at Stanford University, a senior official at South Korea's National Intelligence Service said.

The Korean-American played a key role in negotiations with North Korea before and after the historic summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in June.

The CIA official has led the KMC since the team was launched last year to focus on the growing threat posed by North Korea's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

He initially planned to stay until last summer, but continued in the post at the urging of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The two worked together when Pompeo headed the CIA prior to becoming secretary of state, and Kim accompanied Pompeo on all four of his trips to Pyongyang this year.

"I understand that Andrew Kim has been in constant consultation with Secretary Pompeo about his future," said one source who spoke on condition of anonymity. "I heard he will continue to work as an adviser to Secretary Pompeo."

Kim told several acquaintances in Seoul about his resignation plan when he visited the country earlier this month.

The CIA is carefully reviewing potential candidates to succeed Kim, according to an official with knowledge of the issue. The KMC's deputy head is known to be Korean-American, but he is reportedly not on the list.

This photo captured from North Korea's Korean Central TV shows Andrew Kim (C), head of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency's Korea Mission Center, shaking hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang on Oct. 7, 2018. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution.) (Yonhap)


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