World Briefs: Senior official meets Iranian leader

SEOUL — North Korea’s ceremonial head of state has vowed to strengthen ties with Iran and reaffirmed a shared hostility toward the United States during a meeting with Iran’s leader, state media said Sunday.

Kim Young-Nam, attending a summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran, met with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Saturday to clarify Pyongyang’s “firm stand” to boost ties with Tehran, the North’s KCNA news agency said.

Mr. Kim stressed the need for more bilateral exchanges among high-level delegations and a boost in economic and diplomatic ties during the talks that took place under “friendly atmosphere”, it added.

The Iranian authorities said boosting bilateral relations would be beneficial to both nations, praising the North’s “steadfast anti-imperialist, anti-U.S. stand”, KCNA said.

Both North Korea and Iran are subject to international sanctions because of their nuclear activities and their governments share a deep hostility towards the U.S.

SOUTH AFRICA

Prosecutors to drop miners’ murder charges

JOHANNESBURG — South Africa’s top prosecutor announced Sunday that she is withdrawing murder charges against 270 miners in the killing of 34 striking co-workers who were fatally shot by police.

The National Union of Metal Workers, meanwhile, demanded the suspension of the officers responsible for the shootings.

Sunday’s announcement follows a barrage of criticism from political parties, trade unions, civil society and legal specialists.

Even the justice minister had challenged the prosecutor’s decision to charge the arrested miners under an apartheid-era law that opened President Jacob Zuma’s government to accusations that it was acting like the former brutal white rulers.

Nomqcobo Jiba, the acting director of public prosecutions, did not say why she had reversed her decision to shift the blame from the police to the miners.

ISRAEL

Netanyahu calls for ‘clear red line’ on Iran

JERUSALEM — Israel’s prime minister on Sunday urged the international community to get tougher against Iran, saying that without a “clear red line,” Tehran will not halt its nuclear program.

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