Associated Press editors’ Asia photo picks for 2018

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U.S. President Donald Trump, right, meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Sentosa Island in Singapore on June 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
U.S. President Donald Trump, right, meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Sentosa Island in Singapore on June 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

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.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, center, arrives with Premier Li Keqiang, left, for 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)
Chinese President Xi Jinping, center, arrives with Premier Li Keqiang, left, for 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)

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 leader Kim Jong Un, left, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, right, cross the military demarcation line to the South side at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone, South Korea, on April 27, 2018. (Korea Summit Press Pool via AP)
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, right, cross the military demarcation line to the South side at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone, South Korea, on April 27, 2018. (Korea Summit Press Pool via AP)
Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi prays at the tomb of her late father and Myanmar’s independence hero Gen. Aung San during a ceremony to mark the 71st anniversary of his 1947 assassination, at the Martyrs’ Mausoleum on July 19, 2018, in Yangon, Myanmar. (AP Photo/Thein Zaw)
Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi prays at the tomb of her late father and Myanmar’s independence hero Gen. Aung San during a ceremony to mark the 71st anniversary of his 1947 assassination, at the Martyrs’ Mausoleum on July 19, 2018, in Yangon, Myanmar. (AP Photo/Thein Zaw)
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)
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)
Rescuers and villagers wait for news for their missing loved ones as recovery efforts continue after liquefaction hit the neighborhood of Balaroa in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, on Oct. 6, 2018. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
Rescuers and villagers wait for news for their missing loved ones as recovery efforts continue after liquefaction hit the neighborhood of Balaroa in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, on Oct. 6, 2018. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
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)
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)
A woman carries wood past as the Mount Agung spews ash and smoke in the background in Karangasem, Bali, Indonesia on July 5, 2018. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)
A woman carries wood past as the Mount Agung spews ash and smoke in the background in Karangasem, Bali, Indonesia on July 5, 2018. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)
Rescuers work at the entrance to a cave complex where 12 soccer team members and their coach went missing, in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai province, in northern Thailand, on June 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
Rescuers work at the entrance to a cave complex where 12 soccer team members and their coach went missing, in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai province, in northern Thailand, on June 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)