South Korea's foreign ministry on Friday welcomed the Senate confirmation of the top US envoy for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, as deputy secretary of state, voicing hope for his role in solidifying the alliance with Seoul and peace efforts with Pyongyang.
On Thursday, the Senate confirmed Biegun in a 90-3 vote. He is expected to remain the top negotiator in nuclear talks with Pyongyang even if officially appointed as the State Department's No. 2 official.
"We expect that Special Representative Biegun would play a crucial role in not only addressing the North Korean issue but also developing the South Korea-US ties and strengthening the alliance," a ministry official said.
Biegun assumed the current post in August last year. Since then, he has held a series of negotiations with the North, but the talks have faltered due to gaps over how to match the North's denuclearization measures with US concessions. (Yonhap)