Top: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, prepares to shake hands with South Korean President Moon Jae-in over the military demarcation line at the border village of Panmunjom in Demilitarized Zone on April 27, 2018. Photo: Associated Press
The historic summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the riveting drama that unfolded in a cave in northern Thailand and a deadly earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia were just some of the memorable stories from Asia in 2018.
Associated Press photographers across the region captured remarkable images from these stories, as well as others, including the plight of hundreds of thousands of Muslim Rohingya who fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh and the move by China to abolish presidential term limits that could allow Xi Jinping to rule for life.
The Trump-Kim summit was stunning, coming not long after the two leaders exchanged angry barbs that had the world wondering whether war was on the horizon. The meeting in Singapore ended with a general call by the two sides for a denuclearized Korean Peninsula, but without specific details on how that would be accomplished.
The dramatic rescue of 12 Thai boys and their soccer coach who were trapped in a cave for more than two weeks captivated much of the world – from the heart-sinking news that they were missing, to the first flickering video of the huddle of anxious yet smiling boys when they were found by a pair of British divers.
Indonesia suffered a major earthquake that spawned a devastating tsunami, killing more than 2,000 people. The magnitude 7.4 quake and 11-meter (36-foot) -high tsunami waves, which devastated miles of coastline, also left thousands of others unaccounted for.
Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya who had fled from western Myanmar to Bangladesh to escape brutal persecution by Myanmar security forces remained in Bangladeshi refugee camps, as officials continued to assess whether it is safe for them to return home. The military in Buddhist-majority Myanmar is accused of raping, killing and torturing Rohingya and burning their villages.
Xi, already China’s most powerful leader in more than a generation, received a vastly expanded mandate as lawmakers abolished presidential term limits that had been in place for more than 35 years and wrote his political philosophy into the country’s constitution. In one swift vote, the rubber-stamp legislature opened up the possibility of Xi being president for life, returning China to the one-man-rule system that prevailed during the era of Mao Zedong and the emperors who preceded him.
The following is a selection of some of the best AP images from the year in Asia.