- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 18, 2002

Two Koreas begin piercing of DMZ


DORASAN STATION, South Korea Longtime rivals South and North Korea began work today to relink railways and roads, a landmark event symbolically piercing the Demilitarized Zone, the world's last Cold War frontier.

South Korean officials at sites on the east and west coasts of the divided peninsula pressed buttons to symbolize the start of work that will begin in earnest on Thursday, when mine-clearing starts in the DMZ.

"Today, we are standing at the start of a new era during which the South and the North will move forward hand in hand toward the future," said South Korean acting Prime Minister Kim Suk-soo in a speech at Dorasan Station on the west coast. "We are burying a history marked by the scars of war and the pain of division."

The DMZ has divided the Korean peninsula since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, and there has been just one crossing point and meeting place at Panmunjom truce village near the west coast.


Ukrainian police clear protesters' tents

KIEV, Ukraine Several thousand riot police armed with shields and rubber truncheons broke up a tent camp and evicted protesters in front of the Ukrainian president's office before dawn yesterday. Tens of thousands of people had marched to demand he resign or call early elections.

After the country's biggest demonstrations since Ukraine's independence from the Soviet Union 11 years ago, protesters representing an array of opposition groups from Communists to pro-West reformers set up 167 tents under a heavy downpour Monday evening. They vowed to occupy the area until President Leonid Kuchma stepped down.

As of midnight Monday, the protesters' tents occupied the entire block and spilled into surrounding streets, blocking traffic.


White farmer jailed in Zimbabwe killing

HARARE, Zimbabwe A white farmer convicted of murder for running over a black settler occupying part of his land was sentenced yesterday to 15 years in prison.

Philip Bezuidenhout, 52, pleaded not guilty to murdering Fabian Mapenzauswa, saying he accidentally ran over the man with his truck in July 2001 in the eastern district of Odzi, 150 miles east of Harare.

Mr. Mapenzauswa was one of thousands of blacks who occupied white-owned farmland over the past two years, demanding that the government seize the properties and marking out plots for themselves.

High Court Judge Ben Hlatshwayo said he did not impose the death penalty because Bezuidenhout was affected by "agitation and anguish" when he drove his truck toward the settler after the government seized his farm under its land-redistribution program.


Mubarak's son named for top party post

CAIRO President Hosni Mubarak's son was named the third-most-powerful member of the ruling party's secretariat yesterday and assigned by his father to a new policy-making committee, shoring up his political importance and strengthening his calls for reform.

The elevation of Gamal Mubarak, a 38-year-old former banker, into the leadership of the party that has held a monopoly on power in Egypt for a quarter-century came as his father told a National Democratic Party conference that it must give more room to a younger generation.


Burundi official says gunmen killed 183

BUJUMBURA, Burundi A senior Burundian parliamentarian said yesterday that unidentified gunmen had killed 183 persons, mostly civilians, in central Burundi earlier this month.

The head of parliament's human rights commission, Leonidas Ntibayazi, demanded an inquiry into the reported killings of people in Gitega province who he said were fleeing clashes between Hutu rebels and the Tutsi-led army Sept. 9.

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