US state, defense secretaries to travel to Japan and South Korea next week

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will travel to Japan and South Korea next week, their agencies said on Wednesday, in the first overseas trip by members of the Biden administration.
The visits reflect growing concerns about the challenge posed by a rising China and North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.
Blinken and Austin will hold “2 plus 2” dialogs with their Japanese and South Korean counterparts March 16-18, the State Department said in a statement.
The United States is looking to strengthen ties with key allies as China takes an increasingly aggressive foreign policy approach in the Indo-Pacific region and elsewhere.
Together with South Korea and Japan, the Biden administration is also conducting a full review of its policy towards North Korea.
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