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Senior U.S. diplomat to visit China, S. Korea, Japan

(Xinhua)

21:40, December 30, 2011

WASHINGTON, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell will visit China, South Korea and Japan next week in the wake of the death of Kim Jong Il, late leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), said a State Department statement on Thursday.

Campbell will travel to the three Asian countries from next Tuesday to next Saturday, to meet with senior officials to discuss a range of important bilateral, regional, and global issues, including latest developments related to North Korea and Myanmar, said the statement.

The State Department said that Campbell will arrive in the Chinese capital of Beijing next Tuesday, describing his meeting there as "an important opportunity to continue to build a cooperative partnership with China on shared global challenges."

He will then travel to Seoul, capital of South Korea, next Wednesday, to continue the "close consultation and coordination on the broad range issues of importance" to the two countries' alliance, said the statement.

Next Friday, Campbell will travel to Tokyo to build on Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba's recent visit to Washington, and reinforce America's close cooperation with the Japanese government, according to the statement.

On Wednesday, the DPRK held a state funeral for Kim Jong Il, who died from "great mental and physical strain" on a train during a field guidance tour on Dec. 17.

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