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.

North Korean security personnel run by a car carrying North Korean leader Kim Jong Un returning to the North side for a lunch break after a morning session of the summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the border village of Panmunjom in Demilitarized Zone on April 27, 2018. (Korea Summit Press Pool via AP)
A man looks at a mosque that was isolated by water after its bridge was destroyed due to a massive earthquake and tsunami in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, on Oct. 5, 2018. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
Aminah Gozah grieves after seeing the bodies of two of her three missing sons buried meters deep in the earthquake-damaged Balaroa neighboorhood in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, on Oct. 6, 2018. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
Members of Wild Boars soccer team pray during a ceremony marking the completion of their serving as novice Buddhist monks, following their dramatic rescue from a cave in Mae Sai district, Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand, on Aug. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
North Korean youths hold torches during a torch light march at the Kim Il Sung Square in conjunction with the 70th anniversary of North Korea’s founding day in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Sept. 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
North Korean soldiers march during a parade for the 70th anniversary of North Korea’s founding day in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Sept. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
A military band conductor leads the band at the opening session of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People on March 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
A boy swims during a flood season in the floating village on the Mekong river bank on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on Aug. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)
Indian para-military force soldiers push exiled Tibetan activists into a police bus during a protest outside the Chinese Embassy, in New Delhi, India, on March 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, a total length of 55 kilometers (34 miles), is lit up in Hong Kong on Oct. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
Malaysian Muslims offer prayers during the first day of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on June 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
Nepalese rescuers stand near a passenger plane from Bangladesh that crashed at the airport in Kathmandu, Nepal, on March 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shreshta)
U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un walk from their lunch at the Capella resort on Sentosa Island in Singapore on June 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
A Rohingya refugee cries as he shouts slogan during a protest against the repatriation process at Unchiprang refugee camp near Cox’s Bazar, in Bangladesh, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018. The head of Bangladesh’s refugee commission said plans to begin a voluntary repatriation of Rohingya Muslim refugees to their native Myanmar on Thursday were scrapped after officials were unable to find anyone who wanted to return. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)