Michael Sullivan

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It's early Friday evening, at a small municipal stadium in Bangkok. The sun is going fast, but the rally for the pro-military Palang Pracharath party is just getting started.

Candidate Watchara Kannika is on the stage, warning would-be voters to keep out the "liars" and vote for "the truth." That truth, he says, is the country's coup-leader-turned prime minister, Prayuth Chan-ocha, who toppled an elected government five years ago.

How's this for adventure tourism? A close encounter with a 10-foot long lizard with razor-sharp teeth and a venomous bite from a mouth swimming in noxious bacteria.

A couple in Hanoi is watching the summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un this week with particular interest.

The husband, from Vietnam, and the wife, from North Korea, had to overcome enormous obstacles to be together. Their love was forbidden for decades by authorities on both sides. But eventually, they triumphed.

Both North Korea and Vietnam are one-party Communist states that have fought bitter wars against the U.S. But unlike North Korea, Vietnam normalized relations with the U.S. and has grown and prospered — something North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will see firsthand this week while he's in Hanoi for his second summit meeting with President Trump. The U.S. and many in Vietnam hope Kim will also see Vietnam's experience as a model for his own country.

Sriracha sauce. It's everywhere. Even beer and donuts. The fiery chili paste concocted by Vietnamese-American immigrant David Tran has conquered the American market and imagination in the past decade.

But the original Sriracha is actually Thai — and comes from the seaside city of Si Racha, where most residents haven't even heard of the U.S. brand, which is now being exported to Thailand.

Last winter, when Chung Soo-young saw a man rushing out of the women's restroom at a chain coffee shop in downtown Seoul, the first thing she did was to scan all stalls in search of a hidden camera. Like many other South Korean women, Chung, 26, constantly worries that she could be secretly filmed in private moments. Her fear spiked, she says, when she saw the intruder and "realized I can actually be a victim."

Chinese tourists account for more visitors to Thailand — and much of Southeast Asia — than from any other country.

The Thai village of Sob Ruak, at the heart of the Golden Triangle region where Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet, is no exception. Tour buses routinely disgorge thousands of Chinese tourists to buy trinkets, snap selfies and tour the nearby Hall of Opium Museum. And it's not just tourists coming from China.

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Today a group of South Koreans boarded a bus and traveled to North Korea for reunions with relatives who became separated before and during the Korean War. NPR's Michael Sullivan joins us from Seoul. Hi, Michael.

Editor's note: This report includes some graphic descriptions of injuries and dead bodies.

In August 1950, 14-year-old Ahn Seung-choon was still asleep at home early one morning when her mother woke her up, screaming that her 17-year-old brother had been taken by North Korean soldiers.

"Someone took your brother, and you are still sleeping!" Ahn recalls her mother shouting. Her mother had tried to chase the boy and his abductors, but she had babies to take care of at home and couldn't follow them for long.

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After 10 years of marriage to a husband she says was a philanderer, and dealing with her suffocating in-laws, Alpa Go, a mom in Metro Manila, threw in the towel. She wanted out, for herself and her two children.

"I just wanted to cut ties with him," she said speaking in Tagalog. "If I ever achieve my goals, I don't want to do it carrying his name. And if I acquire properties in the future, I don't want to have to share with him. What if I'm gone?" she asks — meaning what if she's dead. "Then he would benefit instead of the kids."

Philippine lawyer Jude Sabio doesn't get out much these days — not after he accused his country's enormously popular president, Rodrigo Duterte, of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

"Nowadays I do not go out so much in public places," Sabio says. "Specifically, I'm afraid that I'll be killed at any time. Somebody will be just coming and pump a bullet into my head."

The Philippine island of Boracay is a tourist magnet, with its beaches regularly appearing on lists of the world's best. It's easy to see why.

"I think this is an amazing beach," says Frida Roemer from Copenhagen, lounging on the island's White Beach. "The clear water, the white sand ... I extended my ticket because I just liked it so much."

In Vietnam's capital Hanoi there are lots of museums about past wars the Vietnamese have fought, including against the French but especially against the Americans.

The B-52 Victory Museum is strewn with broken pieces of fuselages and tails from downed U.S. aircraft. What's missing are the visitors. Eighty-two-year-old Pham Hong Thuy — sitting alone watching after his grandson — explains why.

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Last month, at a Cabinet function on the lawn of Bangkok's Government House, deputy prime minister and defense minister Prawit Wongsuwan made a simple gesture: He raised his arm to shield his eyes from the sun.

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537,000: That's the number of Rohingya who have fled Myanmar for Bangladesh in the past seven weeks, according to the U.N.

It's the largest migration of people in Asia in decades. The Rohingya are fleeing a campaign of terror by the Myanmar military and Buddhist vigilantes, something the U.N. has called the world's "fastest developing refugee emergency" and a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing."

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In the early morning hours of of Aug. 25, Abul Kalam, a bearded, 35-year-old Muslim religious teacher, was sitting in his village in Myanmar's Maungdaw township when the call came.

"Our commander ordered us to attack the military post in our village," he says.

So he did, along with about 150 other men, he says. All were members of Myanmar's Rohingya Muslim minority, and many were volunteers recruited by a Rohingya militant group to fight against security forces.

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Cambodia needs energy. Almost half of this Southeast Asian country is without electricity. Work will soon be completed on the country's largest hydropower project to date, the Sesan 2 dam, on the Sesan River, a tributary of the Mekong River near the border with Laos.

The dam is an $800 million joint Chinese-Cambodian venture from a company called Hydro Power Lower Sesan 2 Co. Ltd. When it's finished, two nearby villages, Srekor and Kbal Romeas, will be underwater.

The president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, celebrates his first year in office Friday. Since becoming president, he has picked a fight with former President Obama, cursed out the Pope, joked about raping women and declared his "separation" from the United States to pursue a more independent foreign policy with new friends China and Russia.

But none of that really matters at home.

What does matter is that Duterte ran for president promising a brutal, bloody war on drugs. And he's delivered.

She has no phone, no laptop, no Internet and no air conditioning inside her cell. It's 93 degrees outside, but Leila de Lima looks remarkably composed.

The Philippine senator spends much of her time reading and attending to Senate business as best she can, though she isn't allowed to vote. De Lima, a 57-year-old grandmother, was imprisoned in February on President Rodrigo Duterte's orders, after poking the bear one too many times. The charges against her, which she denies, include taking money from jailed drug dealers.

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