- The Washington Times - Friday, August 16, 2002

North, South Koreans celebrate liberation

SEOUL Chanting "We are one nation" and "Reunification," hundreds of South and North Korean civic leaders yesterday celebrated the 57th anniversary of the Korean Peninsula's liberation from Japanese colonial rule.

At a university a few miles away, 7,000 South Korean students and labor activists demonstrated for reunification. They also chanted anti-U.S. slogans, displaying pictures of two teenage girls run over by an American armored vehicle in June near the U.S. 2nd Infantry Division headquarters north of Seoul.

Fires in Sumatra spark Malaysian fears

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia Choking haze from forest fires in Indonesia has blanketed parts of peninsular Malaysia, reducing visibility to less than a mile near the capital, Kuala Lumpur, government officials said yesterday.

Smoke from the fires in Sumatra, just across the Strait of Malacca, has shrouded several states in the peninsula since Wednesday night and badly affected the Kuala Lumpur area.

This year, Malaysia banned open burning after a spate of forest and scrub fires around the country and in Indonesia.

The smoky haze has raised fears that the drought-inducing El Nino weather phenomenon may be back.

Cambodian artist refused U.S. entry

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia A prominent survivor of the murderous Khmer Rouge regime known for his paintings depicting its brutal methods of torture was denied a U.S. visa this week.

Vann Nath, 56, planned to visit the United States in October and November for an exhibition of his artwork and to give lectures.

He was told in a letter from the U.S. Embassy's consular office that his application for a visitor's visa was rejected because he had not shown "sufficiently strong family, social or economic ties" to Cambodia to ensure he would return home.

Iraq sets wheat-buying conditions on Australia

BAGHDAD Iraq told an Australian Wheat Board delegation here yesterday that it would resume full imports of Australian wheat only if Canberra reverses its support of possible U.S. armed hostilities against Baghdad.

"Iraq will promote its relationship with the Australian Wheat Board (AWB) and with the farmers of Australia once the prime minister of Australia and the foreign minister change their position," Trade Minister Mohammed Mehdi Saleh said.

Weekly notes

China was satisfied with Indonesia's response to a surprise visit by Annette Lu, vice president of the Republic of China (Taiwan), a Chinese diplomat said yesterday after Jakarta reaffirmed its "one China" policy and said no Indonesian government officials would meet her. Vietnam's ruling Communist Party has expelled 22 members in a widening anti-graft sweep, ejecting officials in Ho Chi Minh City for suspected links with a notorious underworld gang. Hanoi Moi (New Hanoi), the party's newspaper, reported the ousters and said 12 party members, including nine policemen, were detained.

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