- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 15, 2005

NORTH KOREA

Pyongyang threatens to make more nukes

SEOUL — North Korea said today it might build more nuclear weapons because that would help prevent the United States from attacking the communist state.

“Reality proves that our possession of nuclear weapons guarantees balance of power in the region and acts as a strong deterrent against the outbreak of war and for maintaining peace,” the official Korean Central News Agency quoted a Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying.

The North “will take necessary countermeasures, including bolstering of its nuclear arsenal, to cope with the extremely hostile attempt of the U.S. to bring down [our] system,” the spokesman added.

PAKISTAN

Top court to hear gang-rape case

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s top court said yesterday it is taking over a notorious gang-rape case.

The gang rape of Mukhtaran Mai on the orders of a village council nearly three years ago drew international attention after she went public about her ordeal.

The counterterrorism court that first heard the case sentenced four men to death for the rape along with two members of the council for ordering it. A high court in the central city of Multan overturned that decision on March 3, acquitting five of the six because of lack of evidence.

SUDAN

U.N. reports 180,000 dead in Darfur region

SEOUL — More than 180,000 people have been killed in the conflict in Sudan’s Darfur region in the past 18 months, U.N. humanitarian affairs chief Jan Egeland said yesterday.

Mr. Egeland dismissed the previous figure of 70,000 as out of date, saying that on average 10,000 have died from homicide, disease and malnutrition each of the past 18 months of the crisis.

MACEDONIA

Tribunal indicts former minister

SKOPJE — Former Macedonian Interior Minister Ljube Boskovski has been indicted by The Hague tribunal for war crimes, the Justice Ministry said yesterday.

The indictment, which names Mr. Boskovski and another person, is the first in Macedonia and is among the last the U.N. court will issue for the Balkan wars in the 1990s.

GERMANY

Book claims Nazis tested nukes

BERLIN — Nazi Germany tested a crude nuclear device in March 1945, killing hundreds of people in a massive explosion south of Berlin, a German researcher claims in a book published yesterday.

Berlin academic Rainer Karlsch cites additional evidence found in Soviet archives. No independent corroboration of the claims was immediately available.

Although it has been known that the Nazis conducted nuclear experiments, Mr. Karlsch suggests they might have been closer than previously thought, held back only by a lack of fissile material.

RUSSIA

House where Chechen was killed blown up

ROSTOV-ON-DON — Russian authorities have blown up the house where Chechen rebel leader Aslan Maskhadov was killed last week, witnesses and officials said yesterday.

It was not clear whether Sunday’s explosion was meant as punishment for the family that purportedly sheltered him, a safety precaution to get rid of other explosives or an attempt to cover up sensitive evidence.

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