Obama to visit DMZ on trip to South Korea
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s trip to South Korea will include a visit with U.S. troops deployed to the Demilitarized Zone, White House officials confirmed Tuesday.
The three-day visit, scheduled to start Sunday, will culminate with the Nuclear Security Summit, bringing together the leaders of more than 50 countries to discuss issues of weapons proliferation and nuclear energy policy.
Obama will also meet separately with leaders from Russia, China, Turkey, Kazakhstan and South Korea to discuss regional security issues.
The trip to Korea is the president’s third since he took office, but will be his first to the Demilitarized Zone. White House officials said the visit would be an opportunity to thank U.S. and Korean troops serving there, and to emphasize the security alliance between the two countries.
Monday will be the two-year anniversary of the sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan, killing 46 sailors. International investigators blamed the attack on a North Korean submarine, but officials from that country have denied any involvement.
White House officials said the trip will also help underscore the United States’ focus on the larger Pacific region and its importance to future U.S. military and economic strategy.