PM Lee Hsien Loong in US to attend Nuclear Security Summit

In February, PM Lee met tech leaders in San Francisco and attended the Asean-US Summit in California.
In February, PM Lee met tech leaders in San Francisco and attended the Asean-US Summit in California. PHOTO: ST FILE

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is in the United States for a week-long working visit that will include meetings with US leaders and participation in the fourth Nuclear Security Summit.

The Prime Minister's Office said in a statement on Friday (March 25) that PM Lee will begin his visit in New York, where he will meet strategic thinkers, as well as industry and financial sector leaders.

Mr Lee will also attend a reception with Singaporeans living in New York and visit the Sept 11 memorial.

The Prime Minister will then move on to the US capital, Washington, DC, where he will meet Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and attend the Nuclear Security Summit from March 31 to April 1.

Though Singapore has limited nuclear ambitions, Mr Lee has attended all three previous nuclear summits in 2010, 2012 and 2014 in a signal of the country's commitment to nuclear security and its concern about the threat of nuclear proliferation.

Leaders from over 50 countries – including President Xi Jinping of China, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India and President Park Geun Hye of South Korea – are expected to attend the summit in Washington. 

According to the White House, the summit will continue discussions on the evolving threat and highlight steps that can be taken together to minimise the use of highly-enriched uranium, secure vulnerable materials, counter nuclear smuggling and deter, detect, and disrupt attempts at nuclear terrorism. 

Leaders will also discuss ways to further strengthen the global nuclear security architecture.

The recent nuclear and missile tests by North Korea are expected to be high on the agenda. Earlier this month, the UN Security Council approved the toughest sanctions on the rogue regime in 20 years in response to a nuclear test and a satellite launch.

This is Mr Lee’s second visit to the US this year. In February, he met tech leaders in San Francisco and attended the Asean-US Summit at the Sunnylands estate in California.

He will be accompanied by Mrs Lee and senior government officials on his latest trip.

During Mr Lee’s absence, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean will be the acting prime minister.