Oct 31, 2019 - World

Trump taps North Korea envoy as deputy secretary of state

Stephen Biegun

Stephen Biegun waits for South Korean President Moon Jae-in and President Trump, Seoul, June 30. Photo: Kim Hong-Ji-Pool/Getty Images

President Trump has nominated U.S. envoy to North Korea Stephen Biegun for the deputy secretary of state post, AP reports.

The big picture: Biegun, who would replace John Sullivan if confirmed by the Senate, aided negotiations for Trump's historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, per AP, and has led ongoing negotiations to denuclearize the country. No president in recent history has started his tenure with as many extended Cabinet vacancies as Trump.

Background: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's acknowledgment that he was on the July 25 call between Trump and Ukraine's president has tied the State Department more closely to House Democrats' ongoing impeachment inquiry.

Go deeper: Trump's Cabinet vacancies have lasted way longer than other modern presidents

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