Trump selects second-in-command for State

Stephen Biegun

FILE – In this Aug. 21, 2019, file photo U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun attends a meeting with South Korean Unification Minister Kim Yeon Chul at a government complex in downtown Seoul, South Korea. Biegun is expected to be nominated this week to be second-in-command at the State Department. Biegun has had a prominent role in the delicate negotiations that led to historic meetings between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Thursday nominated Stephen Biegun, the U.S. special envoy for North Korea, to serve as the State Department’s second-in-command.

Biegun would replace John Sullivan, who was nominated to serve as the next U.S. ambassador to Russia. Both positions require Senate confirmation.

Biegun had a prominent role in the delicate negotiations that led to historic meetings between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. He also led the so-far unsuccessful negotiations to get North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.

Before returning to government service in 2018, Biegun was vice president of international government relations for Ford Motor Co.

He has more than two decades of service in both the executive and legislative branches of government.In Congress, he was national security adviser to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, chief of staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a senior staff member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. At the White House, he was executive secretary at the National Security Council.

Biegun’s nomination has been expected since mid-September, but its timing has been unclear amid turmoil in the State Department over the House impeachment inquiry into the administration’s policy toward Ukraine.

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