- The Washington Times - Friday, September 17, 2004

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world:


North Korea’s explosion

LONDON — Normally, a giant explosion that sends a mushroom cloud high into the sky would not be counted as good news. But the explanation by the North Korean authorities that last week’s mysterious blast was caused by demolition work for a hydroelectric dam is far less alarming than what was briefly feared: a test of the nuclear weapon the secretive Stalinist state is believed to be developing. Happily, there is no evidence of a nuclear detonation, though some of the experts who monitor the “hermit kingdom” believe that Pyongyang’s official admission may conceal an accident in a closed military-industrial zone on the border with China.

Others suggest whatever happened could have been deliberate, citing the fact that it took place on September 9, the date of North Korea’s foundation. The way the regime seals itself off from the outside has often encouraged rumor, as was the case with a massive train crash this year. Whatever the truth, this episode is a troubling reminder of the big issue that rightly worries the entire world. Having admitted two years ago that it had the know-how to develop nuclear weapons, North Korea is still refusing to resume stalled talks although it has been able to exploit reports that Seoul has experimented with plutonium enrichment.

This Day

World terrorism

LAGOS, Nigeria — They say talk is cheap — particularly truisms of the sort enunciated and repeated with digitalized rapidity in the hours and days following the attacks of September 11, 2001, which claimed several thousand lives. The world had changed forever, we were told.

[Last Saturday marked] the third anniversary of the September 11 attacks. And in the current atmosphere it would be a simple matter to voice another truism: That we are today living through the horrible unfolding of a wave of terrorism announced by the attacks in New York and Washington; that all the world is the terrorist’s playground.

Last week, of course, witnessed the horrific slaughter of innocents, many of them children, at Beslan, Russia.

The killing of innocent civilians is as odious in Russia as it is in Nairobi or New York or Madrid or Baghdad or Tel Aviv or Gaza or Cape Town. But it seems clear that such attacks are likely to continue, from a variety of sources and in a variety of countries, for the foreseeable future.

Three years on from September 11, one lesson must be that the world will get nowhere if it targets the symptoms rather than the root causes of such attacks. The latter are more often based in long-standing injustices and even slaughters inflicted upon entire peoples.

In contrast, Washington’s “war on terror” is fanning the flames of such attacks in the Middle East and around the world. …

All this inevitably leads to the question — is the world a safer place today than it was three years ago? Sadly, the answer must be no.

East African Standard

The conflict in Sudan

NAIROBI, Kenya — As blood continues to flow in Sudan, the United Nations has described the situation as one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world. It is more than this. With at least more than 10,000 people dying monthly from diseases and violence-related causes, to call it a humanitarian crisis is an understatement.

The blinding fact the international community is reluctant to face is that what is happening in Darfur is simply genocide, racial annihilation of one of Sudan’s black communities by a government-sponsored militia.

But the core of the problem lies in the genocidal attacks waged by the bloodthirsty government-sponsored militia, baptized as Janjaweed, who kill, maim, rape and sexually molest girls and women with full state protection.

But the Khartoum government does not seem bothered by the killings. More vexing is that the international community, including the United Nations, still dithers …

The United Nations is the custodian of international law. It must stop this madness.

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