Accessibility links

APEC Summit of Asia-Pacific Leaders Opens in Vietnam


President Bush and Asia-Pacific leaders have opened a summit in Vietnam, where trade, regional security and North Korea's nuclear program are dominating the agenda.

U.S. National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley said in Hanoi Saturday that the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) group is preparing a joint statement urging North Korea to renounce nuclear weapons and return to six-party disarmament talks.

On the sidelines of the annual summit, President Bush has discussed the nuclear issue with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun.

Mr. Roh and Mr. Bush agreed on the principles of a U.N. resolution imposing sanctions on North Korea. But Mr. Roh would not commit to becoming an active participant in a security initiative that calls for inspecting North Korean ships.

In separate bilateral talks, Japan's Prime Minister Abe said Tokyo and Washington agreed that a "coordinated approach" is needed on the issue.

Meanwhile, APEC leaders have called for an immediate resumption of global trade talks, which have been stalled over farm subsidy disputes.

The "Doha round" of trade talks was launched five years ago in the hope that lower tariffs would boost international trade and help cut poverty. Those negotiations broke down in July as rich and poor nations bickered over what concessions were needed in cutting subsidies, tariffs and other barriers to commerce.

On Sunday, President Bush is scheduled to hold talks with leaders from Russia and China on the sidelines of the APEC summit.

His visit to Vietnam is part of a six-day, three-nation tour of Southeast Asia. He arrived in Vietnam Friday from Singapore and will visit Indonesia before returning Tuesday to the United States.

XS
SM
MD
LG