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Donald Trump talks to Singapore and Thailand over North Korea nuclear threat

by April 30, 2017 General

Washington: US President Donald Trump has continued to reach out to allies in Asia to secure their co-operation to pressure North Korea over its nuclear and missile programs.

Mr Trump spoke to Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and and his Singapore counterpart, Lee Hsien Loong, in separate phone calls about the North Korean threat and invited both of them to Washington, US officials said.

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“They discussed ways to maintain diplomatic and economic pressure on North Korea,” one US official said of the calls, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Mr Trump’s calls to the two Asian leaders came two days after North Korea test-launched another missile that Washington and Seoul said was unsuccessful but which drew widespread international condemnation.

Mr Trump talked on Saturday night with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, who was also invited to the White House.

A week ago, Mr Trump spoke with the leaders of China and Japan on the North Korea issue.

“We need co-operation at some level with as many partners in the area as we can get to make sure that we have our ducks in a row,” White House chief of staff Reince Priebus told ABC’s This Week earlier on Sunday.

“So if something does happen in North Korea, we have everyone in line backing up a plan of action that may need to be put together with our partners in the area,” he said. “We have got to be on the same page.”

Mr Priebus said the conversations were prompted by the “potential for nuclear and massive destruction in Asia” and eventually in the US.

The US President, who warned in an interview with Reuters that a “major, major conflict” with North Korea was possible, did not elaborate on any US response to the test. “You’ll soon find out,” he said on Saturday.