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Senior U.S. diplomat for Asia Susan Thornton to retire - State Dept

WASHINGTON, June 30 (Reuters) - The senior U.S. diplomat for Asia, Susan Thornton, will retire at the end of July, the State Department said on Saturday, in the midst of critical negotiations with North Korea and China.

"Acting Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Susan Thornton has announced her intention to retire from the Foreign Service at the end of July," State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement. (Reporting by Lesley Wroughton Editing by Leslie Adler)