Washington, 5 Jumadil Awwal 1434/16 March 2013 (MINA) – The US Secretary of State, John Kerry, will make his first trip to Asia in mid-April, with North Korea expected to top the agenda.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland says Kerry will travel to South Korea, Japan and China after first attending a meeting of G8 foreign ministers in London on April 10.
He plans to “discuss the full range of bilateral, multilateral and regional issues,” Ms Nuland said, according to Australian Network report monitored by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA), Saturday morning.
North Korea’s nuclear test last month, which has heightened tensions on the Korean peninsula, is likely to dominate discussions, along with concerns over Internet hacking emanating from China.
Climate change – with China one of the world’s biggest producers of greenhouse gases – would also figure in the discussions.
“The secretary will continue to affirm the administration’s commitment to further broaden and enhance US economic, security and strategic interests in the Asia-Pacific region,” Ms Nuland said.
She says Mr Kerry is “very much looking forward to getting back to Asia”.
The former senator, who took over from Hillary Clinton as secretary of state on February 1, made his first overseas trip to US allies in Europe and the Gulf.
But the Obama administration has stressed that there was no rethinking of its much-touted pivot to Asia.
Kerry will take part in an ASEAN foreign ministers meeting in Brunei in June, when he will also visit other Southeast Asian nations. (T/P013/E1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)