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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

N. Korea Tops Bush's Asian Agenda

SINGAPORE -- U.S. President George W. 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.

He also assured Asian allies Thursday that the United States was committed to the region, as he called for creating an Asia-Pacific free trade area and keeping nuclear North Korea on leash.

The standoff over North Korea's nuclear weapons program is on top of the agenda in most of the meetings the president will have during his eight-day, three-nation trip through Asia, which kicked off with a speech in Singapore.

"The transfer of nuclear weapons or material by North Korea to states or nonstate 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.

Bush leaves Friday for Vietnam where he will attend the summit of the 21-member Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.