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Tillerson to visit S. Korea next week

2017/03/08 05:03

WASHINGTON, March 7 (Yonhap) -- U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will visit South Korea next week in his first trip to the region that will also take him to Japan and China, the State Department announced Tuesday.

Trillerson will be in Tokyo on March 15-17, Seoul on March 17-18, and Beijing on March 18, the department said.

"In each country, Secretary Tillerson will meet with senior officials to discuss bilateral and multilateral issues, including strategic coordination to address the advancing nuclear and missile threat from the DPRK, and reaffirm the Administration's commitment to further broaden and enhance U.S. economic and security interests in the Asia-Pacific region," the department said in a statement.

The trip comes amid heightened tensions in the region in the wake of North Korea's successive missile launches and the killing of Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

While in Seoul, Tillerson is scheduled to hold talks with South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se about how to deal with North Korean nuclear and missile threats as well as to further strengthen the alliance between the two countries.

jschang@yna.co.kr

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