US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis embarked Saturday on a trip to reaffirm the enduring U.S. commitment to the Asia-Pacific region, defense officials said.
Mattis will begin his engagements during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Defense Ministers Meeting in the Philippines Oct. 23-25. He will meet with allies and partners from the region to discuss security challenges and shared interests, the officials said.
On Oct. 26, Mattis will lead a U.S. presidential delegation in Bangkok, Thailand, to attend the Royal Cremation Rites of late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Glyn Davies, U.S. Ambassador to Thailand, will also be a member of the delegation, they said.
The secretary concludes his trip with a visit to South Korea to co-chair the 49th annual Security Consultative Meeting with his South Korean counterpart Defense Minister Song Young-moo, defense officials said.