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Pentagon chief to kick off East Asia trip next week

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-11-08 08:05

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper speaks during an event at the Concert Noble in Brussels, Belgium on Oct 24, 2019. [Photo/Agencies]

US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper will travel to the Republic of Korea (ROK), Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam next week, the Pentagon said in a statement on Thursday.

Esper's trip starts on Nov 13, and his first stop is the ROK, where he will attend the 51st US-ROK Security Consultative Meeting and discuss the alliance with his counterpart and other senior officials of the ROK, the statement said.

The Pentagon chief will then participate in the ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting (ADMM)-Plus in Thailand, after which Esper will visit the Philippines and Vietnam, meeting his counterparts of the two Southeast Asian countries.

ADMM-Plus is a multilateral platform that was attended by the defense ministers of ASEAN members as well as ASEAN's eight Plus partners, namely Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, the ROK, Russia, and the United States.

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