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(LEAD) Obama to send delegation to Yeosu Expo

All Headlines 05:17 July 03, 2012

(ATTN: UPDATES with comments on N.Korea aid in last 4 paras)
By Lee Chi-dong

WASHINGTON, July 2 (Yonhap) -- U.S. President Barack Obama will send a delegation to the Yeosu Expo in South Korea this week, the White House announced Monday.

The five-member presidential delegation plans to attend the U.S. National Day celebration Wednesday at the expo in southwestern South Korea, it added.

The U.S. marks Independence Day on July 4.

The team will be led by Jane Lubchenco, administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, who also serves as under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere, according to the White House.

The other members include Sung Kim, ambassador to South Korea and the U.S. commissioner to the expo, and Wendy Cutler, assistant trade representative for Japan, Korea and APEC affairs. APEC is the Singapore-based Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, a forum of 21 nations.

Also on the delegation are Adam Ereli, principal deputy assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and Daniel Dae Kim, a Korean-American television star who is an honorary cultural ambassador to the Expo.

The expo, with the theme of "The Living Ocean and Coast," opened May 12 for a three-month run. The U.S. set up a pavilion there.

Meanwhile, the State Department left the door open for the possibility of considering humanitarian aid for North Korea, which is reportedly suffering from the worst drought in a century.

"We remain concerned about the well-being of the North Korean people, and we remain committed to doing what we can to work with the government of the DPRK (North Korea) so it will come back into compliance with its international obligations," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said at a press briefing.

She added North Korea's leadership should first take steps to regain trust.

The U.S. had planned to provide Pyongyang with 240,000 tons of food aid, but it has scrapped the move following the communist nation's long-range missile launch in April.



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