- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 30, 2017

President Trump spoke Sunday with leaders of Thailand and Singapore, as the administration lined up support in the Asia-Pacific region amid rising tensions with North Korea.

In separate calls, Mr. Trump invited Thailand Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to visit the White House to further strengthen their alliance, accordion to administration officials.

Earlier, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said the U.S. needs to redouble ties in the region to counter the reclusive and unpredictable regime in North Korea, which possesses nuclear weapons and is working on missiles capable of reaching America.

“We need cooperation 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,” Priebus said on ABC’s “This Week.”

“So if something does happen in North Korea, that we have everyone … 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.”

In the phone call with Thailand, Mr. Trump and Mr. Prayut reaffirmed their commitment to the longstanding alliance between their countries.

The White House stressed that Thailand has actively contributed to peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.

Mr. Prayut, a former general who heads a military-run government that took power in a 2014 coup, had strained relations with President Obama.

“President Trump affirmed the commitment of the United States to playing an active and leading role in Asia, in close cooperation with partners and allies like Thailand,” said the White House.

In a separate call, Mr. Trump and Mr. Lee reaffirmed the two countries’ close partnership, according to the White House.

“This partnership is marked by thriving trade and investment, robust security cooperation, and close collaboration on regional and global challenges,” officials said.

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