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SEOUL — North Korea this week accused the U.N. atomic agency of aggravating a dispute over its nuclear program by siding with the United States.

The International Atomic Energy Agency “aggravated the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula pursuant to the US hostile policy toward” North Korea, the communist country’s foreign ministry said.

The IAEA last week called the North Korea’s nuclear program a “serious concern” and noted significant progress in recent months in building a new light-water reactor. The North says the reactor is necessary to meet its energy needs.

The ministry also questioned the IAEA’s role in resolving a dispute over the North’s nuclear program. It also complained that the IAEA had not voiced concerns over any other nuclear states, indicating a bias toward North Korea.

North Korea has been developing nuclear weapons for decades. Its official position has been that it needs them for self-defense against a U.S. nuclear threat. In November 2010, North Korea disclosed an apparently operational uranium enrichment plant, in addition to its plutonium stockpile.

The Philippines

Oldest WWII vet dies at age 111

MANILA — The Philippines’ oldest World War II veteran has passed away at the age of 111, just a few months after finally receiving recognition for his wartime service, a veterans’ official said this week.

Alfonso Fabros, who fought with U.S. and Filipino forces against the Japanese in Bataan, died a little more than two weeks ago, reportedly from pneumonia, said government veterans’ affairs chief Ernesto Carolina.

“We gave him an award, a plaque of recognition, last April on veterans’ week. He was still healthy. He looked very old, and he could not hear any more, but he could still walk on his own,” Mr. Carolina said.

“In fact, he was the one who personally collected his pension every month.”

Mr. Fabros had been a private among the Philippine and American soldiers in the doomed defense of the Bataan peninsula against Japanese forces in 1942, he said.

An account in the Inquirer newspaper earlier this year, said Mr. Fabros, born in 1901, was recruited into the military at the age of 41.

“I was given a rifle and ammunition to help defend Bataan,” Mr. Fabros was quoted as saying.

He managed to escape the Japanese, as they overran Bataan and fought on as a guerrilla for three years until the Japanese surrendered, the report added.

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