Obama to visit Korean DMZ

US President Barack Obama will visit the demilitarized zone on Sunday separating North and South Koreas, ahead of next week`s nuclear security summit in Seoul.

Washington: US President Barack Obama will visit on Sunday the demilitarized zone separating North and South Koreas, ahead of next week`s nuclear security summit in Seoul, the White House said.

The visit to the demilitarized zone that was established in 1953 after the end of the Korean War comes against the background of the US and other western powers` efforts to convince North Korea to abandoning its plans on nuclear weapons.

"The first event that the president will do is he will visit the demilitarized zone, which will be an important opportunity for him to meet with and see some of the American troops who are serving on the Korean Peninsula, while also underscoring the strength of our alliance with the Republic of Korea and our strong commitment, of course, to their security," the White House quoted Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes as saying during a conference call Tuesday.

Last week, North Korea announced plans to launch an earth observation to mark the 100th birthday of its late founding leader Kim Il-sung in April. The US and other countries suspect that the launch is a thinly veiled ballistic missile test.

The 2012 Nuclear Security Summit will be held in Seoul March 26-27 and will be attended by more than 53 heads of state and international organizations.

IANS

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