US envoy to visit N. Korea, unclear whether he will meet with Kim Jong Il

US envoy to visit N. Kor

December 8, 2009 03:23

After a year of tensions, President Barack Obama announced on Monday that he would send veteran diplomat Stephen Bosworth to North Korea on Tuesday for the highest-profile talks between Pyongyang and Washington since he took office pledging to reach out to America's adversaries. Neither side has said which North Korean officials Bosworth will meet in Pyongyang during his three-day trip, though he is widely expected to sit down with Kang Sok Ju, the first vice foreign minister, who is considered the chief foreign policy strategist for reclusive leader Kim Jong Il. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly told reporters Monday that Bosworth is seeking a meeting with "appropriate officials," but not with Kim Jong Il. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters Monday that she hoped Bosworth would be successful in persuading the North Koreans to return to the nuclear talks and that the North would work for "a new set of relationships with us and with our partners."

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