Clinton to visit Asia on first overseas trip

By: By MATTHEW LEE, Associated Press Writer
By: By MATTHEW LEE, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - The State Department says Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will visit Japan, South Korea, China and Indonesia on her first overseas trip as the top U.S. diplomat.

Spokesman Robert Wood said Thursday that Clinton will visit the four countries starting Feb. 15 in a sign of the importance President Barack Obama's administration places on relations with the Pacific Rim. The global financial crisis and efforts to get North Korea to abandon nuclear weapons will top her agenda in Tokyo, Seoul and Beijing.

In Indonesia, where Obama spent part of his childhood, Clinton will emphasize the administration's desire for closer ties with Southeast Asia, a region some say was neglected by the United States under President George W. Bush.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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