Kerry to visit China, S. Korea next week

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday he will visit Asian countries including China next week for talks with leaders such as his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, mainly on North Korea's nuclear programs.

Kerry will visit South Korea on Feb. 13 and 14 for possible meetings with President Park Geun Hye and Foreign Minister Yun Byung Se prior to his likely arrival in Beijing on Feb. 14, a diplomatic source said.

"I'm going out next week to the region. I will be visiting China, among other countries," Kerry told a press conference after a meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida at the State Department.

Kerry said he will discuss with the officials about "the need to accentuate and articulate the road forward with respect to North Korea."

Kerry will visit China as the U.S. government is also concerned about tension in the region over factors such as Beijing's unilateral declaration of an air defense identification zone over the East China Sea.

Deputy U.S. Secretary of State William Burns visited Beijing last month for meetings with top Chinese officials.