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Hagel looks to more Asia travel this year

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Photo - U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, left, listens to Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, right, at the start of their meeting Saturday, May 31, 2014 in Singapore. Hagel traveled to Singapore to attend the 13th Asia Security Summit. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Pool)
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, left, listens to Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, right, at the start of their meeting Saturday, May 31, 2014 in Singapore. Hagel traveled to Singapore to attend the 13th Asia Security Summit. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Pool)
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SINGAPORE (AP) — Critics may question the depth of the Obama administration's new focus on Asia, but Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is spending a lot of time in the region.

On his fifth trip to the Asia-Pacific region in about a year, Hagel is telling defense ministers from Vietnam and India that he'd like to get to their countries too.

Hagel in his speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue security conference said he hopes to visit India this year. And he tells Vietnam's defense minister that he's also looking forward to returning to that country. Hagel is a Vietnam war veteran.

A senior U.S. official confirmed that Hagel is hoping to go to Vietnam sometime late this year. The official wasn't authorized to discuss the plans publicly and spoke anonymously.

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