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Kyodo news summary -1-

November 16, 2018

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Tokyo stocks open higher on overnight gains in U.S. shares

TOKYO - Tokyo stocks opened higher Friday with investors heartened by an overnight rise in U.S. shares.

In the first 15 minutes of trading, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average rose 43.07 points, or 0.20 percent, from Thursday to 21,846.69. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was up 4.86 points, or 0.30 percent, at 1,643.83.

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Dollar trades in mid-113 yen in early Tokyo deals

TOKYO - The U.S. dollar traded in the mid-113 yen range early Friday in Tokyo, almost unchanged from its overnight levels in New York.

At 9 a.m., the dollar fetched 113.56-57 yen compared with 113.57-67 yen in New York and 113.52-54 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Thursday.

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N. Korea’s Kim oversees test of newly developed weapon: report

BEIJING - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has supervised the testing of “a newly developed ultramodern tactical weapon,” the North’s state media reported Friday.

The testing at the Academy of Defense Science was successful, the Korean Central News Agency said, without specifying what type of weapon it was.

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May eager to fight on for Brexit deal amid turmoil

LONDON - British Prime Minister Theresa May expressed her determination Thursday to fight on to seal a divorce agreement between Britain and the European Union.

“I believe with every fiber of my being that the course I have set out is the right one for our country and all our people,” she said at a Downing Street news conference.

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U.N. resolution takes aim at N. Korea rights abuses, abductions

NEW YORK - A United Nations committee adopted a resolution Thursday taking aim at the human rights situation in North Korea for the 14th straight year, though with a renewed urgency this time on the issue of Japanese abductees.

The 10-page text of the Japan- and European Union-led measure includes key changes related to the unresolved issue of 17 Japanese nationals officially recognized by Tokyo as having been abducted by North Korea mainly in the 1970s and 1980s.

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U.S. sanctions 17 Saudis for alleged role in journalist killing

WASHINGTON - The United States announced sanctions on 17 Saudis Thursday for their alleged role in the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The sanctioned individuals include Saud al-Qahtani, a former top aide to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as well as Mohammed al-Otaibi, the diplomat in charge of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul where Khashoggi is believed to have been killed.

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Pence calls for deal on nuke declaration in 2nd U.S.-N. Korea summit

WASHINGTON - U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un must agree on a verifiable declaration by Pyongyang on its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs in their second summit envisioned for early next year, Vice President Mike Pence said Thursday.

“I think it will be absolutely imperative in this next summit that we come away with a plan for identifying all of the weapons in question, identifying all the development sites, allowing for inspections of the sites and the plan for dismantling nuclear weapons,” he said in an interview with NBC News.

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U.S., China quarrel about S. China Sea amid escalating tensions

SINGAPORE - The United States and China quarreled about maritime security in the resource-rich South China Sea at a regional summit on Thursday, in the latest sign that tensions between two of the world’s most powerful nations remain a source of great global concern.

At the 18-member East Asia Summit in Singapore, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said that a long-standing conflict in the waters should be resolved by the countries concerned and that nations outside the region should avoid intervening in the issue, a conference source told Kyodo News.

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Indonesia sells its Indo-Pacific concept to East Asian leaders

SINGAPORE - As leaders from 18 East Asian countries gathered in Singapore for their annual summit this week, Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo began selling his nation’s concept of a geopolitical framework for the Indo-Pacific, a term that has gained momentum this year.

During the three-day meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations member states and eight other countries that ended Thursday, Jokowi presented the details of the concept aimed at improving cooperation not only in the Pacific but also the Indian Ocean.

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Japan to seek expanded trade deal with New Zealand, Singapore

SINGAPORE - Japan agreed Thursday with New Zealand and Singapore to work toward an expanded trans-Pacific free trade pact once it enters into force by year-end.

All three countries are members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, a pact covering around 10 percent of the world’s economy that was signed in March following an abrupt U.S. withdrawal.

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Bangladesh says repatriation of Rohingya refugees postponed

COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh/YANGON - The repatriation of Rohingya Muslims from Bangladesh to neighboring Myanmar, which was scheduled to start Thursday, has been pushed back in the face of protests by the refugees, the Bangladeshi government said.

The decision to halt the repatriation process was taken at the request of U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, which has reportedly said the situation is not conducive for their return to Myanmar.

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Japan urges cooperation with ASEAN on North Korea, environment

SINGAPORE - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday urged other Asian countries to step up cooperation on enforcing U.N. sanctions on North Korea and on environmental issues.

At summit talks in Singapore, Abe called on China, South Korea and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to ramp up efforts to prevent North Korea from skirting the sanctions through illicit ship-to-ship transfers, according to the Japanese Foreign Ministry.

==Kyodo

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