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US diplomat heads to E. Asia amid N. Korea tensions

13 april 2012, 19:06
Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell. Photo cortesy of asiaone.com
Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell. Photo cortesy of asiaone.com
A senior US diplomat will travel to Japan, South Korea, India and Singapore next week, the State Department said, as tensions rise following North Korea's botched rocket launch, AFP reports.

Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell will meet with senior Japanese officials in Tokyo on Sunday and Monday, before heading to Seoul on Tuesday to discuss a "range of bilateral, regional and global issues."

On April 18, Campbell will travel to Delhi to take part in "US-India Asia Pacific consultations," the State Department said in a statement.

He will then travel to Singapore later that day to "meet with senior Singaporean officials to discuss bilateral initiatives and views on recent events in the region."

The United States on Thursday condemned North Korea's "provocative" long-range missile launch -- which failed -- as a breach of international commitments that harmed Asian security.

"North Korea is only further isolating itself by engaging in provocative acts, and is wasting its money on weapons and propaganda displays while the North Korean people go hungry," White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

But the fact that the first US reaction came from Carney, and not a higher-level official or President Barack Obama, reflected the White House's desire to deprive the Stalinist state of publicity or a propaganda reward.

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