Defense Secretary James Mattis focused on the nuclear threat from North Korea in his first overseas trip Thursday, sending a signal about U.S. defense priorities at the outset of the Trump administration.
Mattis began a lightning-fast visit to Asia this week — the first foreign trip by a member of President Trump’s still-incomplete Cabinet — less than two weeks after being sworn in as the Pentagon boss.
After touching down in Seoul, Mattis met with senior officials in the South Korean capital, including Hwang Kyo-ahn, the acting president. The retired Marine general’s visit takes place at a time of political upheaval in South Korea caused by a major political scandal as the Constitutional Court considers whether to uphold lawmakers’ vote to impeach President Park Geun-hye.
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