Clinton's first trip abroad is to Asia

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham ClintonWashington  - US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will travel to China, Japan and other Asian countries this month in her first trip abroad since becoming the nation's top diplomat.

Clinton will stop in Japan, Indonesia, South Korea and China during the February 16-22 trip for talks on bilateral relations, regional issues and the nuclear disarmament negotiations with North Korea.

Clinton will also discuss the global economic turmoil, humanitarian issues, security and climate change, State Department deputy spokesman Robert Wood said.

The new administration of President Barack Obama has been reviewing the policy on North Korea and the effort to persuade Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear programme.

Clinton has already endorsed the six-nation format for dealing with North Korea established under former president George W Bush. North Korea agreed to disarm in 2006 in return for normalization of relations and economic and humanitarian aid.

But progress has been slow in implementing the deal, with the most recent glitch focused on a mechanism for verifying North Korea's disclosure about all of its nuclear activities.

"We all want to see how we can get the North Koreans to abide by their international obligations and to see how, through the six-party framework, we can get them to live up to those obligations," Wood said.

The United States removed North Korea from its terrorism blacklist last October after Pyongyang provided the disclosure. dpa