WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry will travel this weekend to China and then to South Korea.
Leaders of both of the Northeast Asian nations are due to visit Washington in the coming months.
But Kerry's trip also comes amid fresh provocations from neighboring North Korea which says it has just tested a new type of ballistic missile.
Kerry stops first in Beijing on Saturday to prepare for annual U.S.-China economic and strategic talks this summer, and Chinese President Xi Jinping's (SHEE jeen-PEENG) visit in the fall.
Kerry then travels Sunday to Seoul. He will meet South Korean President Park Geun-hye (PAHK GOON HEH). Park is expected to visit Washington in June.
Kerry will stop in Seattle, Washington, on his return to deliver remarks on a proposed pan-Pacific trade pact.