- The Washington Times - Friday, December 6, 2002


Ordinary Koreans join anti-U.S. protests

SEOUL Radical activists took a back seat yesterday as taxi drivers and businessmen were swept up in anti-U.S. protests in this country closely allied to the United States.

In another sign that anger at the United States has spread beyond radical anti-American student groups, South Korean taxi drivers honked their horns and circled the U.S. Embassy in central Seoul. A few blocks away, Americans unsure of what the fuss was about were quickly finding out.

Had they looked for a quick sandwich, they would have been turned away from a downtown restaurant whose owner was protesting the acquittal by a U.S. military court last month of two American soldiers charged with negligence in the crushing death of two Korean schoolgirls with heavy equipment on a public road near a U.S. base.

South Korean entertainers and athletes also have joined the growing anti-U.S. campaign.


U.S. refuses to yield accused Marine major

TOKYO The United States said yesterday it would not surrender a U.S. Marine major accused of trying to rape a woman until Japanese authorities issued an indictment.

An Okinawa court issued an arrest warrant for Maj. Michael J. Brown this week, and Japanese authorities formally requested he be turned over. Police said Maj. Brown tried to rape a woman inside a car on the southern island of Okinawa on Nov. 2, but the woman resisted and fled.

"The government of the United States is unable to agree to transfer custody in this case prior to indictment," the U.S. Embassy said in a statement. The Japanese Foreign Ministry issued a statement yesterday calling the U.S. position "extremely regrettable."

Weekly notes

A rival of Chinese Communist Party leader Hu Jintao has replaced him as head of the main training center for party officials, state news said yesterday. Zeng Qinghong, a close ally of the president and former party leader, Jiang Zemin, has been named president of the Central Party School, the party newspaper People's Daily and state television CCTV said on their Web sites. It wasn't clear whether this was a routine part of the change of leadership or was a setback for Mr. Hu, 59, who replaced the 76-year-old Mr. Jiang as CCP general secretary at a party congress last month. The World Buddhist Summit opened in Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital, yesterday with delegates from 16 countries hoping to promote peace. Kazuo Takayama of Japan's Nenbutsushu Buddhist Sect said the summit would aim to increase solidarity and communication among leaders of Buddhist sects. "Through this summit we will appeal to the world, and do our best to promote world peace and to stop violence," he said.

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