His trip, which ends at the Olympics, is intended to showcase achievements in the region.
The North's actions set the stage for another round in six-party talks, scheduled to take place next week in Beijing.
Missile launches and the expulsion of South Korean personnel from a joint industrial zone show Pyongyang's irritation with Seoul.
U.S. Secretary of State Rice visits Asia to boost the six-party deal, N.Y. Philharmonic plays in Pyongyang.
The shield has implications for Asia's security balance.