WASHINGTON – The Pentagon's No. 2 official is traveling to Asia to discuss worries about North Korea's nuclear program and terrorist threats with other military officials in the region.
Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz (search) is scheduled to speak to a conference of security officials in Singapore on Saturday about American strategy in the region. The dangers of North Korea spreading missile, nuclear and other technology and the threat of terrorism in the region are the main topics of the conference, sponsored by the International Institute of Strategic Studies think tank.
The Singapore conference also gives Wolfowitz a chance to meet one-on-one with some defense ministers and other military officials in the region.
After the conference, Wolfowitz is scheduled to travel to South Korea and Japan to meet with government and civic leaders.
North Korea's nuclear weapons program is sure to be on the agenda. The United States has pushed to bring South Korea and Japan into talks with Pyongyang aimed at getting North Korea to abandon its nuclear arms program.
North Korea expelled international inspectors and withdrew from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (search) after admitting last October it had a secret program to enrich uranium to make nuclear weapons. The United States and its allies cut off fuel aid to North Korea in response.