- The Washington Times - Friday, February 8, 2002

China faults U.S. on arms control
GENEVA China blamed the United States yesterday for the "grave situation" confronting global attempts at arms control, saying the administration's recent rejection of a number of pacts had weakened international confidence in the process.
Although it did not name Washington, China pointed to examples where arms treaties had either been spurned or were in difficulty.
"All these have a negative impact on the mutual trust among states and the overall confidence in multilateral efforts in the field of arms control and disarmament," said Hu Xiaodi, China's ambassador for disarmament affairs.

Powell tells Seoul U.S. backs talks
SEOUL U.S. and South Korean officials called for close consultations yesterday, trying to check a growing impression that the two allies were drifting apart over how to deal with North Korea.
Concern mounted that South Korea's policy of engaging its rival might further stumble after President Bush called North Korea part of an "axis of evil" in his State of the Union speech last week.
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said in a message yesterday that despite Mr. Bush's remarks, Washington remains committed to helping South Korea pursue its engagement policy with North Korea.

Japanese switch savings to gold
TOKYO With their banks battling a recession and bad loans, some Japanese worried about the imminent end of a government guarantee on their deposits are moving their money into something that looks more solid gold.
Sales of $10,000 gold bars at Tanaka Kikinzoku Jewelry in downtown Tokyo have more than doubled in recent months, company officials said yesterday. They refused to give specific figures, but said some customers have bought as many as 40 of the 1-kilogram (2.2-pound) bars.

Weekly notes
British World War II veterans yesterday marked the 60th anniversary of the fall of Singapore to Imperial Japanese troops described at the time by Prime Minister Winston Churchill as the "greatest disaster" in British history. Troops led by Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita landed on the Malay Peninsula in Singapore's rear, pushed through the jungle and moved to the island by night, capturing a larger British force. Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi promised yesterday to press Russia to return four islands off Hokkaido isle captured by the Soviet Union in the closing days of World War II a nearly 57-year-old dispute that has blocked a Russo-Japanese treaty formally ending World War II. "We must make it clear that the four islands belong to us," he told an annual rally, "but we shouldn't be impatient." Indonesia and Australia yesterday signed a pact to combat regional terrorism during a visit by Australian Prime Minister John Howard, overshadowed by a snub from a leading politician. Amien Rais, head of Indonesia's top assembly, had refused to meet Mr. Howard after accusing Canberra of meddling in Jakarta's internal affairs. But last night the two sat at the head table and exchanged pleasantries.

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