Efforts to Maintain a Channel of Diplomatic Engagement with North Korea
This Living History interview features Ambassador Joseph Yun who served as the U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Policy and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Korea and Japan at the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs from October 2016 to March 2018. Prior to that position, he was the United States Ambassador to Malaysia from 2013 to 2016. From 2005 to 2008, Ambassador Yun also served as the Minister Counselor for Political Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul where he oversaw domestic, regional and bilateral policy coordination between the United States and South Korea.
In this interview, Ambassador Yun recounts his diplomatic experience negotiating with the North Koreans and a series of efforts to maintain a direct line of communication with his counterparts. He discusses in particular his role in bringing back a detained U.S. citizen, Otto Warmbier, from North Korea. Ambassador Yun also offers his personal reflections on the changes in North Korea policy between the Obama administration and the Trump administration, and the impact of the historic summit meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on June 12, 2018. For more on this unique and personal interview, please listen below.