A top aide to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has been representing the Pentagon's interests in North Korea talks and will be part of the team going to Singapore for the planned summit between President Donald Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un on June 12.
Randall G. Schriver, assistant secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs, has been at the truce village in Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone this week for talks with a North Korean delegation, on the groundwork for the summit and its implications for the more than 28,000 U.S. troops now based in South Korea.
Schriver, a former Navy intelligence officer and State Department official, also "will continue to be our representative" in Singapore, Dana White, the department's chief spokesperson, said at a Pentagon news briefing Thursday.
In Panmunjom, Schriver was part of a State Department team led by Sung Kim, a veteran diplomat and current U.S. ambassador to the Philippines.
"It will be up to our diplomats and to the White House to determine how things move forward," White said, "but Secretary Schriver is a part of that team, and he is representing the department."
Schriver formerly was deputy assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, with responsibility for China, Taiwan, Mongolia, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands.
From 1994-98, he worked in the office of the Secretary of Defense on relations with China's People's Liberation Army and also on bilateral relations with Taiwan.
Schriver was CEO and President of the Project 2049 Institute, a non-profit think tank focused on security issues and trend lines for Asia by mid-century.
-- Richard Sisk can be reached at Richard.Sisk@Military.com.