U.N. inspectors head for reactor
SEOUL — United Nations inspectors were reportedly heading to a North Korean nuclear reactor early today, a day after the leader of the U.N. team said they had received permission to visit the plutonium-producing facility.
Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported today that the team had left its Pyongyang hotel for the Yongbyon reactor, about 55 miles from capital.
The trip would be the first by International Atomic Energy Agency monitors since North Korea expelled them in late 2002.
Olli Heinonen, the IAEA deputy director, emphasized, however, that the trip would not be a formal inspection.
Bombing kills 14 near Shi’ite shrine
BAGHDAD — The United States‘ No. 2 diplomat in Iraq yesterday predicted progress by fall on bringing together Iraq’s feuding factions even as violence claimed more lives, including 14 persons killed in a late night car bombing near a Shi’ite shrine in the capital.
In all, at least 60 Iraqis were killed or found dead across the country, most of them in the Baghdad area, according to police reports. Also yesterday, one American soldier was killed and four were wounded in a roadside bombing in east Baghdad, the U.S. command said.
During a press conference, Daniel Speckhard, the second-ranking U.S. diplomat in Iraq, said he was hopeful that the Iraqis would make progress on “some” legislation by September. That’s when Gen. David Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker are to submit a report on prospects for ending the violence.
Laura announces aid package
MAPUTO — U.S. first lady Laura Bush yesterday announced $507 million in assistance would be approved for Mozambique to build roads and boost its battle with malaria, which kills about 150 Mozambicans each day.