Clinton to visit Asia on first overseas trip

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will visit Japan, South Korea, China and Indonesia on her first overseas trip as the top US diplomat, the State Department announced on Thursday. Clinton will visit the four countries starting February 15 in a sign of the importance President Barack Obama's administration places on relations with the Pacific Rim, Spokesman Robert Wood said. 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.