Joseph Yun, a former US point man on North Korea, has been appointed to lead the Joe Biden administration's negotiations with three small Pacific Island countries, according to the Department of State on Tuesday.
Biden picked the former Korean-American career diplomat as Special Presidential Envoy for Compact Negotiations, it said in a press release.
"Ambassador Yun has more than 33 years of diplomatic experience, including as the US special representative for North Korea policy and as the United States Ambassador to Malaysia," the department noted.
Born in South Korea, he moved to the US in 1963 along with his family and joined the Foreign Service in 1985. He served as Washington's special representative for Pyongyang from 2016-18.
The US is in talks with the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Palau -- collectively known as the Freely Associated States (FAS).
"We are currently engaged in negotiating amendments to certain provisions of the Compacts of Free Association with the FAS, and completing the negotiations is a priority for this Administration," the department said. (Yonhap)