APEC seek to break Doha deadlock
Updated: 2006-11-18 09:33

Although APEC was formed in 1989 to focus on mutual trade and economic concerns, the meetings are regularly hijacked by security issues such as the war on terrorism or North Korea, and this year looked to be no different.

Leaders from all five of the parties trying to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons are attending APEC and diplomats say the group may issue a joint statement at the end of the summit on Sunday.


Bush has one-on-one meetings on Saturday with South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe before sitting down with the two together. He meets the Russian and Chinese presidents, Vladimir Putin and Hu Jintao, on Sunday.

All are partners with Washington in six-party negotiations with North Korea that Pyongyang has agreed to restart after dropping out in protest over U.S. financial sanctions.

Bush is only the second American president to visit Hanoi since the end of the U.S. war in Vietnam in April 1975, when the Communists unified the country.

And while the unpopular U.S.-led Iraq invasion invites comparisons to the Vietnam war a generation ago, Bush insisted on Friday he wanted to focus on the future, not the past.

"My first reaction is, history has a long march to it, and that societies change and relationships can constantly be altered for good," Bush said shortly after his arrival.

Many in Vietnam would agree.

"Nobody resents the Americans any more, the war is long over. I hope Bush's visit will encourage a better understanding between the two countries," said Pham Thi Nhung.

"I'm not that bothered about meeting him, but it would be good if he gave Vietnam some money."

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