Pyongyang willing to talk about uranium program
SEOUL | North Korea told a Russian envoy it is willing to discuss a recently disclosed uranium enrichment program if long-stalled nuclear disarmament talks resume, state media reported Tuesday.
Concerns about the North’s nuclear capability took on renewed urgency in November, when a visiting U.S. scientist was shown a uranium enrichment facility.
Uranium enrichment could give North Korea, already believed to have enough weaponized plutonium for at least six atomic bombs, a second way to make nuclear weapons.
China, the U.S., Japan, South Korea and Russia had been negotiating since 2003 to persuade North Korea to dismantle its nuclear weapons program in exchange for aid and other concessions. Pyongyang pulled out of the talks about two years ago after being censured for launching a long-range rocket.
Bombs kill official, school principal
KABUL | Two bombings Tuesday killed a local legislator and a school principal, the latest of a series of attacks as the top U.S. commander was trying to convince Congress that NATO is making progress against insurgents.
Army Gen. David H. Petraeus was pleading for increased congressional funding as militants assassinated Afghan politicians and bombed security forces in a campaign that could undermine his appeal.
In another move that could hamper the funding of U.S. and international development efforts, the Afghan government ordered all private security companies to disband by March 21 next year. Although expected, Tuesday’s announcement was the first time a firm date had been set for their disbandment.
Afghan and U.S. officials have said there are about 30,000 to 40,000 armed private security guards working in the country - about 26,000 of them employed by the U.S. military or government.
Human rights group forced out of country