- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 13, 2000

Koreas eye spring summit

SEOUL Top Korean officials have agreed to arrange a visit by North Korean leader Kim Jong-il to South Korea next spring, a news agency said.
The agreement was reached late yesterday by Kim Yong-sun, a visiting envoy of the North Korean leader, and his South Korean counterpart, Lim Dong-won, Yonhap news agency said.
Separately, the two Koreas are expected to hold a first meeting of defense ministers to discuss tension-easing measures late this month or early next month in Hong Kong, Yonhap reported, citing government officials.
Seoul officials were not immediately available for comment. The spring summit would be a follow-up to South Korean President Kim Dae-jung's trip to Pyongyang in June.

Libya celebrates hostage release

TRIPOLI, Libya Four men held captive in the Philippines for 140 days gathered at a historic fortress on the Mediterranean to offer thanks to Libya for arranging their release, then headed home to be reunited with family and friends.
Libya reportedly paid the Abu Sayyaf rebels of the southern Philippines $10 million in exchange for the freedom of the four men and six other hostages released last month.
The four Europeans freed Saturday were the last foreigners from a group of 21 taken hostage in April from a Malaysian diving resort.
The Abu Sayyaf rebels still are holding one Filipino captured at the same time, two French television journalists and 12 Filipino Christian evangelists.
A separate Abu Sayyaf faction is holding American Jeffrey Schilling, a 24-year-old Muslim convert from Oakland, Calif.

Israeli police arrest militant Arabs

JERUSALEM Police have arrested 41 Israeli Arabs and three Palestinians from the West Bank on suspicion of forming an underground, illegal possession of arms, and conspiracy to attack police and soldiers, Israeli police said yesterday.
Of those arrested, 24 have been indicted, said Alik Ron, police chief in northern Israel.
Chief Ron stressed that such cases are unusual among Israel's Arab minority, who are mostly law-abiding.

Kohl gets support from Gorbachev

BERLIN Former Chancellor Helmut Kohl, whose reputation as a statesman for achieving German reunification has been sullied in a party-funding scandal, got a rare public show of support yesterday: a warm handshake from onetime Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
Mr. Gorbachev, who negotiated the peaceful end of the postwar division of Europe with Mr. Kohl and others a decade ago, reached out to the former German leader before speaking at an event marking the 10th anniversary of a historic agreement paving the way for German reunification.
The former Soviet leader lauded the courage and foresight of Mr. Kohl.

Vatican official heading to China

VATICAN CITY A top cardinal is heading to China this week on a rare visit by a senior Vatican official to the communist country.
The Vatican, in announcing the trip yesterday, said Cardinal Roger Etchegaray will attend a forum on "Religion and Peace" in his personal capacity and will not be on a diplomatic mission.

Floods kill seven in central Japan

TOKYO Rescue workers paddled rowboats past inundated buses and homes yesterday in central Japan to pick up residents stranded by floods and mudslides that killed seven persons and forced the nation's biggest car maker to stop production.
Rainfall totaling 23 inches was recorded over the past 24-hour period, the local observatory said. The record rainfall was expected to surpass 32 inches in some areas, the Meteorological Agency said.
Authorities in the industrial city of Nagoya asked more than 360,000 people to evacuate their homes, city official Tadanobu Horiguchi said. Many sought shelter on the second or third floors of schools.

Milosevic begins re-election bid

DJERDAP, Yugoslavia President Slobodan Milosevic began his re-election campaign on a barren plateau above the Danube, lauding the achievements of the Yugoslav people and accusing the West of sabotaging the country's recovery.
The ceremony inaugurating a section of power dam, across the river from Romania, came less than two weeks before Sept. 24 presidential and parliamentary elections.
The independent Beta news agency quoted miners from the nearby mining city of Bor as saying managers forced them to attend the ceremony.
At a rally later yesterday in the southern Serbian city of Nis, the opposition leaders warned that Mr. Milosevic would try to rig the elections.

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