- The Washington Times - Friday, May 17, 2002

Prosecutors quiz son of Kim Dae-jung

SEOUL South Korean prosecutors yesterday questioned the youngest son of President Kim Dae-jung about a reported graft scandal, dealing a blow to the leader's image as a reformer.

Kim Hong-gul, 39, apologized for the cash-for-contracts scandal, which has rocked South Korea for months. All major television stations canceled their regular programs to cover his tearful apology live.

"I am sorry. I feel ashamed before my parents and apologize to the people," the younger Mr. Kim said as he walked with his head bowed into the Seoul district prosecutor's office.

Senior prosecutor Kim Hoi-sun said the investigation focused on accusations that Kim Hong-gul, who returned home from the took bribes from businessmen running a corrupt World Cup lottery.

Portuguese mandatory for East Timor schools

DILI, East Timor Children in East Timor are having trouble getting their tongues around their new official language. After years of speaking Indonesian, they have to learn Portuguese, the language of the territory's former colonial rulers.

"It is too difficult for me. There are so many new words to remember," 15-year-old Sonia da Costa said in fluent Indonesian, the language of the country that annexed East Timor after the Portuguese abruptly abandoned their half of the island in 1975. Indonesia ceded it in 1999 when the United Nations took over to organize a referendum on independence.

After months of sometimes-angry debate, East Timor has made Portuguese one of its national languages to be used in parliament, in the official media and in schools at independence on Monday.

Okinawa chafes under bases burden

TOKYO Okinawa marked the 30th anniversary of its return to Japanese control Wednesday with an appeal for more help in hosting U.S. military bases that its residents say are a burden on the poorest of Japan's 47 prefectures.

Okinawa Gov. Keiichi Inamine said he would continue to argue to the central government that the rest of the country should share the burden. From the end of World War II until 1972, Okinawa was under U.S. military occupation. It still hosts 25,000 of the 51,000 American troops stationed in Japan by treaty.

Weekly notes

Amnesty International demanded yesterday that those responsible for the deaths of more than 50 protesters during Thailand's 1992 Black May uprising be brought to justice. "The families of those killed or 'disappeared' and people who were injured are still waiting for the truth to be established and for justice to be done. They must not wait another 10 years," the rights group said on the eve of the anniversary of the uprising. The new American Pacific fleet commander in chief, Adm. Thomas Fargo, arrived in Manila yesterday to assess the progress of an anti-terror action in the southern Philippines involving about 1,000 U.S. troops. Adm. Fargo, who succeeded Adm. Dennis Blair this month, flies today to the southern city of Zamboanga.

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