Vice President Dick Cheney is expected to bring the message "stay the course" in Iraq to countries in Asia next week.

Mr. Cheney leaves Friday, on a week-long tour of China, South Korea and Japan. He is expected to tell their leaders that the recent sharp increase in violence in Iraq will not weaken the U.S. commitment to establishing a democratic government in Baghdad.

China is not a member of the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq, but South Korea and Japan are. Both have said they have no plans to end their involvement in the rebuilding effort.

Mr. Cheney's office says he also will discuss efforts to halt North Korea's nuclear development program. And he will ask China to consider revaluing its currency, the yuan.

This is Mr. Cheney's third overseas mission as vice president since 2001. The trip was originally scheduled for last year, but was postponed because of the Iraq war.