US President Joe Biden and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong urged North Korea on Tuesday to halt its ballistic missile launches and return to negotiations over its weapons programmes.
Speaking after talks at the White House, the two leaders condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and stressed the importance of Asia-Pacific stability and freedom of navigation in the South China Sea amid concerns about China exerting its influence there.
Biden and Lee also criticised the policies of Myanmar’s military government after a meeting in the Oval Office.
North Korea last week tested a powerful new type of intercontinental ballistic missile that marked an end to a self-imposed moratorium on long-range testing in place since 2017.
Biden said he and Lee shared their concerns about the North Korean launches, which he said were in clear violation of various UN Security Council resolutions.
“We both urge North Korea to refrain from further provocations and return to the negotiating table for serious and sustained diplomacy,” Biden said.
North Korea thus far has rejected US appeals to hold direct talks over its nuclear and missile programmes.
- Reuters with additional editing by Sean OMeara