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President Barack Obama will travel to the Asia-Pacific in late April in an effort to increase diplomatic, economic, and security engagements in the region, announced White House press secretary Jay Carney on Feb. 12. Specifically, Obama will visit Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Topics slated for discussion include modernizing the 54-year-old alliance between the US and Japan as well as the defense alliance with the Philippines; recent developments in North Korea; and “combined efforts to promote denuclearization,” said Carney.