Hagel tours last Cold War frontier in Korea
POTCHEON, South Korea (AFP) - US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel toured the South-North Korean border on Monday as he kicked off a trip to key regional allies in the battle to halt Pyongyang's nuclear weapons programme.
"There is no margin of error up here," Mr Hagel told reporters at the heavily-fortified Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) that separates the two Koreas.
Mr Hagel's visit to South Korea and Japan follows signs that North Korea may be expanding its weapons-grade fissile material output even while calling for the resumption of six-party denuclearisation talks.
His third trip to Asia as Pentagon chief is expected to underline the importance of the US military alliances with Seoul and Tokyo, not just in the context of the North Korea threat but also China's growing strategic power.