U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell says the United States will not turn away from the victims of last week's tsunami that devastated southern Asia and pledged support for a warning system to prevent a recurrence of the disaster.
Mr. Powell told reporters in Thailand today (Tuesday) that the aftermath of the tsunami is a tragedy for the entire world. He says the United States is in solidarity with those devastated by the tsunami.
The secretary of state is leading a U.S. assessment team touring the region ahead of a tsunami relief summit in Indonesia Thursday. Mr. Powell's talks in Thailand focused on creating a regional tsunami-warning system, as well as long-term reconstruction measures.
The U.S. government has promised 350 million dollars in aid to affected areas. Relief officials report American citizens have already privately donated tens of millions of dollars in aid.
Meanwhile, two former U.S. presidents, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, have been tapped to lead a nationwide drive for Americans to donate directly to tsunami relief efforts. President Bush announced the nationwide drive Monday in Washington.
South Korea has increased its aid package for victims of last week's tsunami to 50 million dollars.
A spokesman for South Korean Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan says the money will be disbursed over the next three years to help rebuild the infrastructure of tsunami-hit countries in southern Asia.
South Korea originally offered five million dollars in aid.