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US special envoy to Korean nuclear talks quits

The US special envoy to multilateral talks aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear weapons drive has quit, the State Department has said amid reported divisions within the administration over the nuclear issue.

world Updated: Jan 05, 2006 05:00 IST

The US special envoy to multilateral talks aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear weapons drive has quit, the State Department has said amid reported divisions within the administration over the nuclear issue.

Joseph DeTrani, an ex-senior CIA officer, has joined the office of John Negroponte, the director of national intelligence as senior adviser.

"I think he's actually gone back to work in the intelligence community for Ambassador Negroponte. For him, this is, kind of, a return home," US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters on Wednesday.

He said DeTrani, who took up the special envoy post in the State Department in January 2004, "made an enormous contribution to our policies concerning North Korea."

McCormack said the department would work closely with DeTrani.

The six-party talks aimed at resolving the Korean nuclear issue are in a limbo, with Pyongyang protesting financial sanctions imposed by Washington over alleged counterfeiting activities by North Korea.

The new stumbling block to the negotiations, some analysts say, underscored possible differences in US policy over North Korea and could compound the delay in resolving the three-year nuclear dispute.

First Published: Jan 05, 2006 05:00 IST