S. Korea, U.S., Japan to discuss N. Korea in Singapore

2013-05-29 02:06:54 GMT2013-05-29 10:06:54(Beijing Time)  SINA.com

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel will focus on the North Korea issue when he holds trilateral talks with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts in Singapore later this week, officials said Tuesday.

Hagel is scheduled to fly to Singapore on Friday to attend the Shangri-La Dialogue, an annual gathering of top defense officials mainly from the U.S. and Asian nations.

It would be his first trip to Asia since taking office in February.

Tensions and uncertainly on the peninsula, caused by North Korea's recent provocations and threats, will be by far the dominant agenda item, added the official.

Also to be discussed in Hagel's meeting with Kim Kwan-jin of South Korea and Itsunori Onodera of Japan, slated for Saturday, are trilateral exercises, disaster relief, counter-proliferation and counter-piracy, according to the official.

Hagel also plans to have a tripartite meeting with his Australian and Japanese counterparts and several bilateral talks on the sidelines of the security forum.

The issue of beefing up regional missile defense to counter North Korea's threats is expected to be raised in those discussions, the official said.

Hagel will visit Hawaii, home of the Pacific Command, on his way to Singapore. After a four-day stay in Singapore, he will head to Brussels for the NATO defense ministers' meeting.


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