- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 12, 2000

No pact with N. Korea likely in talks today

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia The United States said yesterday it was unlikely to reach an agreement with North Korea to halt Pyongyang's missile exports in the current talks, which end today.
"I don't think an agreement will be reached tomorrow," said Robert Einhorn, U.S. assistant secretary of state for nonproliferation.
Mr. Einhorn, heading the U.S. delegation in talks to curb Pyongyang's missile program, was speaking after the second day of talks being held held at the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.
The meetings are addressing the development, deployment, testing and export of North Korean missiles, one of which Pyongyang test-fired over Japan's main island of Honshu in August 1998. North Korea promised Washington last year that it would not proceed with further testing of its long-range Taepo Dong ballistic missile and the United States quickly lifted some trade barriers.

Putin's planned visit to Pyongyang a first

MOSCOW President Vladimir Putin, who is due next week to become the first Russian leader to visit North Korea, said yesterday Moscow would do all it can to help normalize the situation on the divided Korean Peninsula.
"We support the normalization of relations on the Korean Peninsula. We will do everything we can to facilitate this normalization process," Mr. Putin said in a Kremlin interview.
Mr. Putin is due to visit North Korea on his way to Japan, where he will attend the annual summit of the Group of Eight nations on the southern island of Okinawa from July 21 to 23.

Chavez hits rocket site in disputed Essequibo

CARACAS, Venezuela Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez vowed yesterday to block a U.S. company from building a commercial rocket-launch site in an area of neighboring Guyana subject to a long-standing territorial dispute.
A left-leaning nationalist and retired army officer, Mr. Chavez said: "We're not going to war with Guyana," but "we're not going to allow the installation of this U.S. rocket base in Essequibo."
Venezuela has long claimed Essequibo, a 61,500-square-mile , mineral-rich area of tropical jungle the size of Florida, which covers about 75 percent of the territory of the former British colony of Guyana.
Dallas-based Beal Aerospace Technologies Inc. signed a deal with the Guyanese government in May to build the launch facility for commercial satellites.

Assad's son gains 97 percent of vote

DAMASCUS, Syria A month after the death of Hafez Assad, his son, Bashar Assad, yesterday completed the smooth ascent to the presidency that his father had planned, winning 97.29 percent approval in an election in which he was the only candidate.
Parliament formally announced that Bashar Assad's swearing-in ceremony will be on July 17, after which he will embark on a seven-year term that is full of risks.
The military, which is key to the control of this nation of 17 million people, and the political establishment have rallied around Bashar Assad.

35 soldiers arrested after Ivorian mutiny

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast The ruling Ivorian junta has arrested 35 soldiers, including eight officers, as part an inquest into last week's army mutiny, the military prosecutor announced yesterday.
Hundreds of disgruntled soldiers took to the streets July 4-5 demanding the payment of a $8,500 bonus for their role in the December coup that brought the junta headed by Gen. Robert Guei to power.
The dispute was settled with the junta agreeing to pay $1,400 dollars to every serviceman and woman in the country, according to military sources.

Holbrooke opposed to new peacekeepers

NEW YORK U.S. representative to the United Nations Richard Holbrooke yesterday rapped U.N. peacekeepers in Sierra Leone for doing a bad job but rejected an increase in troops for the West African nation without further study.
"Our government is of the view that these issues are of such consequence that we have to get them right," he told reporters after a closed-door Security Council meeting.
"We are not happy with the U.N. mission in Sierra Leone right now. It has not done a good job," he said. Based on wire dispatches and staff reports.

Based on wire dispatches and staff reports.

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