- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 22, 2002

Korean leader apologizes after second son's arrest

SEOUL President Kim Dae-jung of South Korea bowed his head in shame yesterday after a second of his sons was arrested and jailed to await trial on corruption charges.

"Over the past few months, I have felt thoroughly responsible for not taking proper care of my sons," the 76-year-old leader said in a live televised speech.

"I have lived in shame and apologize for hurting the hearts of people who supported me. Again, I express my apology."

His second son, Kim Hong-up, 53, was formally arrested hours earlier on charges of taking $1.85 million from businessmen in return for influence-peddling.

His third son, Kim Hong-gul, 38, was detained on graft and tax-evasion charges last month.

6 hurt as bombs rock Spanish resorts

FUENGIROLA, Spain Car bombs rocked two Spanish tourist resorts yesterday, injuring at least six persons in attacks by suspected Basque separatists timed to coincide with the start of a European Union summit in Seville.

The injured included a British man, seriously hurt by flying shrapnel, a Spanish couple and three children, two of them British and one Moroccan, officials said.

The first blast blew in windows at a 10-story hotel in the popular beach resort of Fuengirola, near the southern city of Malaga. A second car bomb exploded in the nearby luxury resort of Marbella hours later, causing extensive damage to the four-star Hotel Sultan.

Canada denies asylum to Chinese fugitive

VANCOUVER, British Columbia Lai Changxing, China's most-wanted fugitive who purportedly oversaw a huge smuggling empire, was denied political asylum yesterday by a Canadian immigration panel.

The panel sided with Ottawa and Beijing in finding that the charges against Mr. Lai were for "nonpolitical" crimes, such as bribing government officials, and dismissed his assertion that he and his family will be killed if they were sent home.

Beijing accuses Mr. Lai, who fled to Canada from Hong Kong in 1999 with his family, of smuggling billions of dollars of goods, including oil, into China in the mid-1990s without paying duties and of bribing officials to turn a blind eye.

He was detained by Canada in November 2000 at China's request and was living under house arrest in a Vancouver suburb.

U.S. official eyes talks with N. Korea in 'weeks'

A senior U.S. official said yesterday that Washington would hold direct talks with North Korea in "weeks, not months," fueling speculation of an imminent trip to the communist state by a senior U.S. envoy.

James Kelly, the assistant secretary of state for East Asian affairs, made the remark during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the fate of North Korean refugees in China, many of whom are being forcibly returned to their reclusive homeland. He said the refugees issue was on the agenda for the proposed U.S.-North Korean talks.

21st asylum seekerenters Korean Embassy

BEIJING A North Korean woman eluded heavy security to enter a South Korean Embassy office in Beijing, raising the number of asylum seekers there to 21, a South Korean official said yesterday.

The 31-year-old woman, identified only by her surname, Ho, entered the visa office Thursday morning, the official said.

Beijing had demanded that Seoul turn over all asylum seekers, the first of whom entered on May 23. South Korea has refused to do so without guarantees that they won't be returned to North Korea.

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