Top Asian News 8:00 GMT

North Korea unveils Kim’s daughter at missile launch site

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea has unveiled the little-known daughter of its leader Kim Jong Un at a missile launch site, drawing wide attention to a fourth-generation member of the dynastic family that has ruled North Korea for more than seven decades. North state media said Saturday that Kim watched the launch of his new breed of ICBM with his wife Ri Sol Ju, their “beloved daughter” and other officials the previous day. Kim said the launch of the Hwasong-17 missile — the North’s longest-range nuclear-capable missile — proved he had a reliable weapon to contain US-led military threats.

Asia-Pacific leaders condemn war and renew calls for open trade

BANGKOK (AP) – Leaders from across the Asia-Pacific region called for an end to Russia’s war on Ukraine and pledged to steer the region’s economies towards sustainable growth as they concluded summits on Saturday. Host Thailand achieved a diplomatic coup when he managed to bridge divisions between the 21 members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum by saying that most members had condemned the war. Russia is a member of APEC, as is China, which has generally refrained from criticizing Moscow. The statement issued by APEC leaders acknowledged differing views on the war and said the forum, which is mainly devoted to promoting trade and closer economic ties, is not a place to resolve such conflicts.

North Korea’s Kim boasts new ICBMs as US bombers

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un boasted that a recently tested ICBM is another “reliable weapon with maximum capacity” to contain US military threats, state media reported on Saturday. The United States responded to the North’s arms launch by flying supersonic bombers in a show of force. Korea’s North Central News Agency said Kim monitored the launch of the Hwasong-17 missile, a day after his neighbors said they spotted the launch of an ICBM that showed a potential ability to land anywhere in the United States. KCNA said Kim watched the launch with his wife Ri Sol Ju and their “beloved daughter,” as well as senior officials.

VP Harris has a brief meeting with China’s leader Xi

BANGKOK (AP) — U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris spoke briefly with Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Saturday to take another step to keep lines of communication open between the two largest economies. A White House official said Harris and Xi exchanged comments on Saturday as they headed to a closed meeting at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum summit in Bangkok. The official said Harris echoed President Joe Biden’s remark to Xi at a meeting between the two leaders earlier in the week that China and the US must keep lines of communication open to “responsibly manage competition between our countries.” The official spoke on condition of anonymity in order to be able to speak to the media.

China’s Xi is scrambling for new diplomatic ties with Asian leaders

BANGKOK (AP) – Chinese President Xi Jinping has used his first face-to-face meetings with America’s Asia-Pacific allies since 2020 to try to make diplomatic advances while Washington fends off Beijing’s influence in the region. Xi has not backed down from China’s longstanding claims to Taiwan and most of the South China Sea. But his remarks to various leaders at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum in Bangkok this week have focused more on Beijing’s central economic role for its neighbors. As China’s reputation has risen, its diplomacy has become more nuanced than the high-handed approach that has sometimes stirred resentment in the past.

Malaysians vote as old parties in elections, reformers clash

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — The vote was underway in Malaysia’s hard-fought national election on Saturday, which will determine whether the long-ruling coalition can stage a comeback from its electoral defeat four years ago. Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s reformist bloc is forecast to take the lead – but with three main blocs vying for votes and many fences, analysts said the outcome is difficult to predict and new alliances could emerge if there is a hung one Parliament gives. More than 21 million Malaysians are entitled to elect 222 lawmakers in the federal parliament and representatives in three state parliaments. Results are expected to be available later today.

Interesting facts about the general elections in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) – Malaysia’s general election will be held on Saturday, more than a month after Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob dissolved parliament and announced snap elections. The country’s longest-serving coalition is trying to regain dominance after a shocking defeat in 2018, but political reformers are aiming for a second surprise victory. Here is a guide to elections in Malaysia: ___ THE VOTING SYSTEM Malaysia has a first-past-the-post system, so the party with the most votes, but not necessarily the majority, wins. Voting is optional for the 21.1 million Malaysians eligible to vote, a 40% increase from 2018. More than 9,000 polling stations, mostly schools and community centers, will be open for 10 hours.

China’s COVID-19 restrictions hit historic Beijing theater

BEIJING (AP) — Performances at one of Beijing’s oldest and most prestigious theaters have been suspended amid a fresh wave of shop and restaurant closures in response to a surge in COVID-19 cases in the Chinese capital. The Jixiang Theater in downtown Wangfujing’s shopping district was originally built in 1906 and recently moved to its current location on the 8th floor of a mall that also houses shops and a fast food restaurant. It is famous for performances of Peking Opera and other traditional art forms. Performances were scheduled to resume on November 27, but such reopening dates were frequently extended.

Kazakhstan is holding a snap presidential election after a turbulent year

MOSCOW (AP) – Kazakhstan’s president, who faced a bloody outbreak of unrest earlier this year and then moved to marginalize some of the Central Asian country’s longtime powerful figures, appears confident of a new term against little-known ones Challenger to win in a snap election Sunday. Five candidates are up for election against President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. With a short campaign period beginning in late October, they had little opportunity to face major challenges. Tokayev, apparently confident he had a strong advantage, stayed away from a nationally televised election debate. The election for a seven-year term comes as Tokayev has taken steps to maintain Kazakhstan’s distance from long-time ally and dominant regional power Russia.

Kashmir avalanche killed three Indian soldiers

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — An avalanche in Kashmir has killed three Indian soldiers along the heavily militarized Himalayan border between India and Pakistan, the Indian military said on Saturday. A snow slide hit the northwestern Machil sector in Indian-controlled Kashmir on Friday, pinning three soldiers on a patrol, said Colonel Emron Musavi, an Indian Army spokesman. He said the three were rescued and evacuated to a hospital, where they died. Avalanches and landslides are common in Kashmir, which is divided between India and Pakistan and is claimed in its entirety by both. Avalanches have caused some of the heaviest tolls for Indian and Pakistani armies camped in the area.

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