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U.S. seeks to ease concerns about retirement of top diplomat on North Korea policy

U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Policy Joseph Yun arrives at a meeting with the media in Bangkok, Thailand December 15, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department sought to ease concerns on Tuesday about the departure of its senior diplomat on North Korea policy, saying it had a “deep bench” of people who would be able to step in after the retirement Ambassador Joseph Yun.

“The State Department has 75,000 people that work for us around the world. To imply that Ambassador Yun is the only one that is capable of handling North Korea would simply be wrong,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told a briefing.

“We have a deep bench of very experienced people,” she added, citing acting Assistant Secretary Susan Thornton, the top official for East Asia affairs, and several other diplomats.

Reporting by David Alexander; Editing by Doina Chiacu