PM Lee talks terror, North Korea in meetings in US

White House and Prime Minister's Office release joint statement affirming strong partnership

The threats of terrorism and North Korea's nuclear programme were on the agenda when United States National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster called on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Tuesday.

"Both sides exchanged views on the threat of terrorism in the region and expressed concern about the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's continued development of its illegal nuclear and ballistic missile programmes," the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said, referring to North Korea by its official name.

"They also agreed on the importance of the US' continued commitment towards deepening its engagement of the Asia-Pacific," it added.

Both issues had featured prominently when Mr Lee and President Donald Trump met at the White House a day earlier.

Highlights of Monday's meeting, which Cabinet members from both countries attended, were released by the White House and the PMO in a joint statement on Tuesday.

The two affirmed the strong and enduring bilateral partnership based on mutually beneficial cooperation in areas of defence, security and the economy.

"They both recognised Singapore's steadfast partnership on issues of mutual interest and shared principles," the statement added. "Singapore has been an anchor for the presence of the United States in the Indo-Pacific, underpinning regional peace and prosperity for the common benefit of the region and the United States."

They also agreed on the importance of the US’ continued commitment towards deepening its engagement of the Asia-Pacific. Statement from the Prime Minister’s Office on Mr Lee Hsien Loong and Mr Donald Trump

The leaders pledged to strengthen cooperation to counter the threat of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, and Mr Trump welcomed Singapore's commitment to extend its existing contributions to the global coalition to defeat it - a medical team, a KC-135R tanker, and an imagery analysis team.

Mr Lee had on Monday said Singapore would extend its deployment into next year.

On North Korea, both leaders condemned its "unlawful" missile launches and nuclear tests that are in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions. They reaffirmed their commitment to fully implement the resolutions and "consider additional measures to compel the regime to engage in meaningful dialogue".

Pyongyang's provocations have drawn a strong response from Mr Trump and will be a key theme of his visit to Asia next month.

On economic ties, both leaders said the US-Singapore Free Trade Agreement had successfully expanded trade, enhanced prosperity, and promoted broader relations for the benefit of both countries.

As for the humanitarian crisis in Rakhine state, both leaders urged Myanmar to end the violence, ensure "the safe, voluntary and dignified repatriation, resettlement, and rehabilitation" of those displaced and implement as soon as possible the suggestions of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State.


They also expressed their support for Asean's role in working with the Myanmar government to provide humanitarian aid.

The leaders again reaffirmed their commitment to Asean centrality and strengthening the regional architecture to address transnational challenges such as maritime security and extremism.

The statement added: "President Trump looks forward to attending the November multilateral summits in South-east Asia and offered his full support for Singapore's Asean chairmanship in 2018."


Lee Hsien Loongunited statesNorth Korea