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APEC summit disrupted by DPRK’s intercontinental ballistic missile test

Asia-Pacific leaders have gathered in Bangkok for a two-day summit to focus on
global economic woes but North Korea marred the opening of the
talks with a suspected intercontinental ballistic missile test.

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, the host, urged
participants at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) on Friday summit to seek sustainable growth and development after economic
and social challenges from Covid-19, climate crisis and
geopolitical rivalries.

“We can no longer live like we did. We need to adjust our
perspective, ways of life and ways of doing business,” he said
to an audience that included China’s President Xi Jinping and
US Vice President Kamala Harris.

Prayuth did not refer to North Korea’s missile, which
Japanese officials said landed just 200 kilometres off Japan
and had sufficient range to reach the mainland of the United

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who is in Bangkok for
the APEC meeting, told reporters that North Korea had “repeated
its provocations with unprecedented frequency”.

The White House said in a statement Harris would coordinate
with regional leaders at the APEC meeting on the missile test.

Xi, warning against Cold War tensions in a region that is a focus for competition between Beijing and Washington, said on Thursday the Asia-Pacific was no one’s backyard and should not become an arena of big power rivalry.

Asia-Pacific not ‘an arena for big power contest,’ China’s Xi warns

‘Pivotal juncture’

Established to promote economic integration, APEC groups 21 economies that account for 38 percent of the global population, and 62 percent of gross domestic product and 48 percent of trade.

Thailand’s Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai said on Thursday the APEC meeting was taking place at a “pivotal juncture” with the world facing multiple risks.

The APEC gathering is the third summit in the region in the past week. A Southeast Asian summit that included China, Japan and the United States was held in Cambodia while the Group of 20 (G20) nations met on the Indonesian island of Bali.

The earlier meetings were dominated by the war in Ukraine as
well as tensions over Taiwan and the Korean peninsula.

Campaigners are keen to see leaders address food insecurity,
surging inflation, climate crisis and human rights.

A reminder of such grassroot demands came as Thai
anti-government protesters clashed with police about 10 kilometres from the summit venue after trying to overturn a police
car plastered with posters of Prayuth and Xi, witnesses said.

Geopolitical tensions over Ukraine to overshadow APEC summit in Bangkok

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