Latest Southeast Asia News

Esper doesn’t regret delaying drills, despite N. Korea snub

Nov. 21, 2019 2:41 AM EST

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Thursday he does not regret postponing a U.S.-South Korean military exercise, even though the gesture was rejected by North Korea as not enough to restart nuclear diplomacy. The prospects for a resumption of the nuclear diplomacy are unclear,...

Pope in Thailand calls for action to protect women, children

Nov. 21, 2019 2:01 AM EST

BANGKOK (AP) — Pope Francis called Thursday for women and children to be protected from exploitation, abuse and enslavement as he began a busy two days of meetings in Thailand, where human trafficking and forced prostitution help fuel the sexual tourism industry. Francis pleaded for action against one of...

US defense chief ends Asia tour with same troubles, risks

Nov. 21, 2019 1:28 AM EST

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper ended an Asia tour Thursday with the same trio of troubles on the Korean peninsula that he found on arrival last week. Together they pose risks to U.S. national security and to the future of Washington’s alliance with South Korea. The toughest...

Earthquake shakes Thailand, Laos, sways Bangkok high-rises

Nov. 20, 2019 11:18 PM EST

BANGKOK (AP) — A strong earthquake shook a border area between northern Thailand and Laos on Thursday morning, swaying high-rises in Bangkok and Vietnam’s capital. Residents of Chiang Mai, northern Thailand’s biggest city, felt prolonged shaking but saw no major damage. Chiang Mai resident...

The Latest: Pope commits Church to work with Thai Buddhists

Nov. 20, 2019 10:32 PM EST

BANGKOK (AP) — The Latest on Pope Francis’s visit to Thailand and Japan (all times local): 10:20 a.m. Pope Francis is committing the Catholic Church to working more with Thailand’s majority Buddhists to launch projects to care for the poor and the environment. Francis made the pledge during a...

Suu Kyi to lead Myanmar team contesting genocide court case

Nov. 20, 2019 9:11 PM EST

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Myanmar said Wednesday its leader Aung San Suu Kyi will head the legal team contesting a genocide case filed against it in the International Court of Justice over the crackdown on Rohingya Muslims two years ago that set off their exodus to Bangladesh. Myanmar’s military has...

Thai court removes pro-democracy politician from Parliament

Nov. 20, 2019 10:50 AM EST

BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand's Constitutional Court ruled Wednesday that a popular pro-democracy opposition leader violated election laws and cannot keep his seat in Parliament. The court said Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, the 40-year-old head of the new Future Forward Party, violated a regulation barring...

Thai Supreme Court affirms death sentence for Spaniard

Nov. 20, 2019 7:51 AM EST

BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand's Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the death sentence given a Spanish man convicted of murdering a compatriot and dismembering his body in 2016. Artur Segarra Princep had been convicted of killing David Bernat to steal his money. He had pleaded innocent. Police believe Segarra held...

Esper accuses China of intimidating smaller Asian nations

Nov. 20, 2019 6:20 AM EST

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Wednesday accused China of using coercion and intimidation against smaller Asian nations to impose its will in the South China Sea. He urged Vietnam and others in the region to push back. “We will not accept attempts to assert unlawful...

Australian bank Westpac faces massive fine for breaches

Nov. 20, 2019 5:33 AM EST

PERTH, Australia (AP) — Major Australian bank Westpac is facing a potentially massive fine after being accused of 23 million breaches of the anti-money laundering and counterterrorism financing act. The financial crime regulator AUSTRAC said Wednesday it was pursuing Westpac, one of Australia’s four...