U.S. Governor’s Aide Arrives in Pyongyang

In another modest sign of improving relations between North Korea and the outside world, Chosun Central News Agency (KCNA) has reported the arrival of a close assistant of Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico in Pyongyang.

Special Assistant Dr. Tony Namgoong arrived in Pyongyang yesterday, according to the characteristically brief KCNA report.

A Korean-American expert on North Korea, Dr. Namgoong has a history of contacts with Pyongyang, having been involved in many of Governor Richardson’s own activities surrounding U.S.- North Korea relations, including travelling with the governor when he went to the North to retrieve the remains of fallen servicemen during a previous thaw in relations.

Neither North Korea nor the office of Governor Richardson has revealed the reason behind the trip.