Secretary of State Hillary Clinton could appoint a special envoy for North Korea before leaving for Asia next week, senior administration officials told CNN.
The officials said Stephen Bosworth, the dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, and a former State Department official, has been offered the job. Bosworth would replace Assistant Secretary Christopher Hill, who is expected to replace Ryan Crocker as U.S. ambassador to Iraq. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the appointment has not been made public. They stressed that the timing and the details of the job were still being worked out. The naming of an envoy would signal the Obama administration’s commitment to addressing North Korea’s nuclear program. On Tuesday, Clinton said the United States intended to continue the so-called Six Party Talks — along with China, South Korea, Japan, Russia and North Korea — aimed at ending North Korea’s nuclear program. Tension between Pyongyang and South Korea has increased in recent weeks, with North Korea announcing it would scrap peace agreements with the South, warning of a war on the Korean peninsula and threatening to test a missile capable of hitting the western United States.
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Clinton warned Pyongyang about provocative action against its neighbors. “We are hopeful that some of the behavior that we have seen coming from North Korea in the last few weeks is … not a precursor of any action that would up the ante, or threaten the stability and peace and security of the neighbors in the region,” Clinton told reporters. Officials said Clinton hoped to name the North Korea envoy before she leaves Sunday on a tour of China, Japan, South Korea and Indonesia. She could make the announcement at a speech Friday to the Asia Society, where she will outline the Obama administration’s approach toward Asia and its increasing global importance, officials said.