- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 27, 2009

TAIWAN

Dalai Lama accepts invitation

TAIPEI | A group of Taiwan officials said Wednesday the Dalai Lama has accepted their invitation to visit this month, presenting the island’s China-friendly president with an embarrassing political dilemma.

A joint statement by leaders from seven municipalities recently hit by deadly Typhoon Morakot said the Tibetan spiritual leader planned to be in Taiwan from Aug. 31 to Sept. 4 and would visit storm victims.

The invitation is sensitive for China on two fronts. China says the Dalai Lama is working to undermine its authority in Tibet. China also claims self-governing Taiwan as part of its territory, though they split amid civil war in 1949.

The invitation is from leaders of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party.

KOREAS

North-South talks over family visits

SEOUL | North and South Korea disagreed Wednesday on when families divided by the Korean War will be allowed to meet, at the first family reunion talks between the two sides in nearly two years.

Family reunions had been held annually since a landmark inter-Korean summit in 2000, but were suspended in 2008 when South Korean President Lee Myung-bak took office with a hard-line policy toward Pyongyang.

Although tensions have cooled and the reunion talks have resumed, the two sides were still at odds over the timing.

MONGOLIA

Russia deploys missile defense

ULAN BATOR | Russia has deployed a missile-defense system near its border with North Korea and is studying other measures to protect its population from stray missiles, Russia’s top general said Wednesday.

Russia shares a small border with North Korea in the Far East and its main Pacific port of Vladivostok, with a population of 600,000, lies only 95 miles from North Korea.

BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA

Karadzic says U.S. armed Muslims

AMSTERDAM | Radovan Karadzic is seeking evidence that the U.S. turned a blind eye to weapons shipments from Iran to Muslim forces fighting in the Bosnian war, to support his claim that Serbs acted in self-defense during the conflict.

In written responses from jail to questions by the Associated Press released Wednesday, Mr. Karadzic said he has asked several countries for documents that will support his contention they violated the U.N. arms embargo during the 1992-95 conflict.

He said this included direct U.S. military supplies to the Bosnian Muslim army and Iranian weapons sent through Croatia with the support of U.S. Ambassador Peter Galbraith.

IRAQ

Stolen Picasso recovered

BAGHDAD | Special forces have recovered a stolen Picasso and arrested a man planning to sell the painting during a raid of his house in southern Iraq, Iraqi police said Wednesday.

The painting, “The Naked Woman,” apparently had been among the artwork looted from Kuwait during Saddam Hussein’s 1990 invasion. It was seized Tuesday during a raid on the house belonging to the suspect near the mainly Shi’ite city of Hillah, about 60 miles south of Baghdad.

Police said the man was trying to sell the painting for $450,000, but some Iraqi experts who saw the painting said it was worth $10 million.

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