Top US envoy to visit Asia after Kim Jong Il death

WASHINGTON (AP) ? The Obama administration is sending its top diplomat for Asia to China, South Korea and Japan next week to confer with officials there about developments in North Korea after the death of Kim Jong Il and U.S. rapprochement with Myanmar.

The State Department said Kurt Campbell, the assistant secretary of state for East Asia and the Pacific, would visit Beijing, Seoul and Tokyo from January 3 to 7.

Campbell will be the most senior U.S. official to visit the region since Kim’s passing last week and succession by his youngest son, Kim Jong Un. He will also be the most senior U.S. official to visit North Asia since Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s historic visit to Myanmar in early December.