S Korea appoints new envoy for nuke talks
Dy Foreign Minister Chun Yung-woo replaces Song Min-soon in six-country talks on ending the North's N-programmes in an overhaul of its negotiating team.india Updated: Feb 20, 2006 11:59 IST
South Korea named a disarmament and non-proliferation expert to head its delegation to six-country talks on ending the North's nuclear programmes in an overhaul of its nuclear negotiating team, officials said on Monday.
Deputy Foreign Minister Chun Yung-woo replaces former Deputy Foreign Minister Song Min-soon, who moved on to the presidential Blue House to be a top national security adviser earlier this month.
South Korea has also replaced its deputy chief negotiator, Cho Tae-yong, in a personnel move earlier this month.
Chun was previously the deputy head of South Korea's mission to the United Nations and also headed the ministry's disarmament bureau, which has focused on the North's nuclear ambitions.
Chun is fluent in English and speaks Korean with a thick accent from the southern port city of Pusan where he is from.
He is regarded by many in diplomatic circles in Seoul for having expertise in the secretive workings of the North's nuclear programmes, analysts said.
His appointment comes as regional powers try to persuade the North to return to the six-country talks and give up its nuclear weapons programmes.
South and North Korea, the United States, Japan, Russia and China agreed at a key round of the talks in September 2005 on a set of goals for Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear programmes in return for aid and promises of better diplomatic ties.