- The Washington Times - Friday, September 27, 2002

Kim accused of paying Pyongyang for summit

SEOUL A political storm roiled South Korea yesterday amid charges the government secretly sent $400 million to North Korea to secure a landmark summit of the two Koreas in 2000.

The claim, if confirmed, could seriously hurt the image of South Korean President Kim Dae-jung, who won the Nobel Peace Prize after his meeting in June 2000 with North Korea's reclusive leader Kim Jong-il. Rival political parties exchanged bitter accusations after an opposition lawmaker claimed late Wednesday that the secret loan was delivered through the Hyundai group to Pyongyang.

The Hyundai group played a key role in Korean rapprochement by sinking a huge amount of corporate money into a tourism project at the North's scenic Mount Kumgang resort.

China says U.S. Navy violates 200-mile zone

BEIJING China accused the U.S. Navy yesterday of violating international law by conducting operations inside China's exclusive economic zone without approval.

"We regarded such activities as a violation of the principles of international law and of the interests and jurisdiction of China's special economic zones," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue told reporters. The U.S. Embassy declined to comment.

Miss Zhang said China had negotiated with the United States many times on such issues after a collision between a U.S. spy plane and a Chinese fighter over the South China Sea in April 2001.

Beijing and Washington have tried in recent weeks to smooth over political and economic differences before an Oct. 25 Texas summit between President Bush and China's President Jiang Zemin.

The U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea says states have territorial sovereignty up to 12 miles from their coast.

Australian spy agency faces misconduct probe

SYDNEY, Australia Defense Minister Robert Hill announced yesterday an investigation into accusations of sexual misconduct, nepotism and corruption at the Defense Signals Directorate (DSD), the country's most secretive spy agency, to see if the reports had security implications.

But he stopped short of ordering a full inquiry into the accusations, which coincided with a growing debate about the defense establishment's readiness for a war with Iraq. Mr. Hill acted after an internal report on problems in the DSD was published in yesterday's Daily Telegraph newspaper.

Weekly notes

Chinese Defense Minister Chi Haotian said yesterday he offered the Philippines cooperation against terrorism during talks with his host and counterpart Angelo Reyes. The two Asian neighbors both are battling Muslim militants, but also are rival claimants to certain islands and fishing grounds in the South China Sea. A volcano erupted yesterday on Ruang, a remote Indonesian island 1,400 miles northeast of Jakarta, spewing ash two miles into the air and prompting hundreds to flee, the head of the country's Volcanological Survey reports. Indonesia has at least 129 active volcanos. Ruang last erupted in 1949.

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