Special Rep for North Korea Policy Joseph Yun to Retire This Week

Posted: 2:55 am ET


Another senior FSO, a member of the shrinking minister-counselor ranks of the Foreign Service is heading for the exit. Special Representative for North Korea Policy Joseph Yun is stepping down later this week, a decision that he told reporters, “is really my decision.” NBC News says that Yun has “decided to retire for personal reasons,” according to a State Department spokesperson.

Ambassador Yun who was previously U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia (2013-2016) was appointed Special Representative for North Korea Policy and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Korea and Japan in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs (State/EAO) in October 2016.


Email of the Day: Rejection Letter For Chief of Mission Aspirant

Posted: 12:05 am EDT
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An individual whose name is redacted wrote an April 2012 email to State Department Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills saying “Disappointingly EAP was unable to nominate me for a COM position ….” and that he was “running out of option.”   Mills forward the email to HRC saying she advised the individual “given his interest in Slovenia and Iceland to meet w/ Phil.” Phil is most probably Philip Gordon who served as Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs (EUR) from 2009-13.

The rejection letter/email that the aspiring ambassador received came from Joseph Yun who was then Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs (EAP) and currently U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia. The email is part of the latest Clinton email dump.



Officially In: Joseph Y. Yun – From EAP to Malaysia

 By Domani Spero

On June 12, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Joseph Y. Yun as the next Ambassador to Malaysia. The WH released the following brief bio:

Joseph Y. Yun, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, currently serves as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs.  Prior to this, he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs from 2010 to 2011.  From 2009 to 2010, he was Director of the Office of Maritime Southeast Asia.  Since joining the Foreign Service in 1985, Mr. Yun has served overseas in Korea, Thailand, France, Indonesia and Hong Kong.  Before joining the Foreign Service, he was an economist for Data Resources, Inc. in Massachusetts.

Mr. Yun received a B.S. from the Cardiff University and an M.S. and M.Phil from the London School of Economics.

Joseph Y. Yun (screengrab from YouTube)

Joseph Y. Yun
(screengrab from YouTube)

If confirmed, Mr. Yun would succeed career diplomat, Paul W. Jones who was appointed chief of mission to Kuala Lumpur in 2010. Of the 19 ambassadors appointed to Malaysia since 1960, only one, Barbara Mae Watson (1980-1981) had been a political appointee. (Note: That’s the same Barbara Watson who was twice appointed Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs. The State Department’s Award for Consular Excellence is also named after her).

Mr. Yun is scheduled to have his confirmation hearing at the SFRC on Tuesday, July 23 at 9 am.  Video and written testimony will be posted here when available.


Related item:
June 12, 2013  President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts