N. Korea talks to Washington
The United States and North Korea held another round of working-level talks in New York yesterday, but there was still no definitive response to President Bush’s proposal for comprehensive new negotiations, a U.S. official said.
The 90-minute meeting between Edward Dong, director of the State Department’s Korea office, and his counterpart at the North Korean Mission to the United Nations was the latest working-level contact in recent months.
U.S. officials have said they are hoping Pyongyang will respond positively to Mr. Bush’s offer when Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and North Korean Foreign Minister Paek Nam Sun are in Hanoi next week for the annual meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
N. Ireland riots mar peace talks
WESTON PARK, England — Britain and Ireland reconvened last-gasp Northern Ireland peace talks yesterday after more than 100 police officers were hurt as Catholic rioters went on the rampage in the province overnight.
Prime Minister Tony Blair made it clear that the next few hours were the last opportunity to refloat a peace process stalled because of a lack of guerrilla disarmament, policing reforms and calls for fewer British troops in the Protestant-majority province.
Police, bombarded with gasoline and acid bombs, used water cannons and plastic bullets to quell the rioting, which they said had been carefully orchestrated.
S. Asia rivals squabble before summit
NEW DELHI — Tough talk over the disputed Himalayan province of Kashmir escalated and security was tightened yesterday in advance of a landmark summit between India and Pakistan.
Pakistan President Gen. Pervez Musharraf was set to arrive in the Indian capital today, and militant Islamic separatists said they would conduct attacks to coincide with the three-day summit.
The summit between Gen. Musharraf and Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee begins tomorrow morning in Agra, the city that is home to the Taj Mahal.
Maoists kidnap police in Nepal
KATMANDU, Nepal — Nepal’s Interior Ministry said yesterday 70 police officers had been kidnapped by Maoist rebels following an attack on a security post the previous day.
The 70 police officers were abducted when Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) rebels, fighting to topple the country’s constitutional monarchy, attacked a rural outpost. One policeman was killed and one wounded in the attack.
Russia admits Chechnya abuses
MOSCOW — A Russian prosecutor confirmed some accusations by Chechen residents, saying yesterday that at least 10 civilians were injured by troops that went on a rampage during security sweeps of their villages.
“The facts of bodily harm were legally established. There are testimonies; the beatings have been certified by medical experts, and protocols have been composed,” said Chechnya’s chief prosecutor, Viktor Dakhnov.
Russian prosecutors are investigating accusations that soldiers beat and robbed Chechen civilians during the searches of three villages last week.
Philippine police target Muslim militants
MANILA — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ordered a crackdown on sympathizers of the Abu Sayyaf rebels yesterday and said the government was stepping up efforts to wipe out the Muslim extremist group.
The Abu Sayyaf kidnapped 20 persons, including three Americans, from a southwestern holiday beach resort on May 27. Some have escaped or been released, but the rebels have taken others from a hospital and a plantation.
“If you are feeding the enemy, you are a conspirator,” Mrs. Macapagal-Arroyo said. “All of these are subject to the same death penalty.”