SingaporeÃ¢Â€Â™s Prime Minster Lee Hsien Loong (L) speaks during a meeting with US President George W. Bush in the East Room of the Istana presidential palace in Singapore. Bush urged Asian leaders to send a forceful message to North Korea that it cannot share nuclear weapons know-how and must stay on the “peaceful path” of disarmament talks.
President Bush on Thursday warned North Korea against transferring nuclear weapons or material to other countries, saying such an act would be considered a “grave threat” to the United States.
The standoff over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program is atop the agenda in most of the meetings the president will have during his eight-day, three-nation Asian trip, which kicked off with a speech in Singapore.
“The transfer of nuclear weapons or material by North Korea to states or non-state entities would be considered a grave threat to the United States and we would hold North Korea fully accountable for the consequences of such action,” Bush said in the speech at the National University of Singapore.
Ahead of its Oct. 9 nuclear test, North Korea pledged not to launch a first strike or allow its bomb technology to be spread outside the country.
Bush also urged allies in the region to stand firm against a nuclear-armed North Korea and enforce U.N. sanctions against the country for conducting a nuclear weapon test last month.
“For the sake of peace, it is vital that the nations of this region send a message to North Korea that the proliferation of nuclear technology to hostile regimes or terrorist networks will not be tolerated,” he said.
In the meantime, the United States should be quickly building and deploying theater missile defense for Japan and Taiwan.
Talk is cheap with the North Koreans.
Technorati Tags: NorthKorea, KimJong-Il