U.S. envoy for North Korea Biegun tapped for No. 2 job at State Department: White House

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump plans to nominate U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun to become the next deputy secretary of state, the White House said on Thursday.

A U.S. official said Biegun would retain his responsibilities for diplomacy with North Korea. Biegun would replace John Sullivan as the State Department’s No. 2 official. Sullivan has been nominated to be the next ambassador to Russia.

Biegun has led working-level denuclearization talks with North Korea, which have stalled since a failed second summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi in February.

North Korea fired two suspected missiles into the sea between the Korean peninsula and Japan on Thursday, according to military officials in Japan and South Korea, ending nearly a month-long lull in testing.

The launches, which Japanese authorities identified as likely ballistic missiles, were the first since talks between the United States and North Korea ended without an agreement on Oct. 5 in Sweden.