- The Washington Times - Monday, September 12, 2005

SOUTH KOREA

Washington, Seoul get ready for talks

SEOUL — The top U.S. negotiator on North Korea’s nuclear program was to meet with South Korean officials today before the six-nation talks resume.

Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill was to meet top Foreign Ministry officials and Unification Minister Chung Dong-young, Seoul’s top official in dealings with the North.

The fourth round of six-party talks resume tomorrow in Beijing, where the two Koreas, the United States, China, Russia and Japan will continue discussions that broke off Aug. 7.

AFGHANISTAN

Government denies assassination attempt

KABUL — Soldiers who fired at the defense minister’s convoy were not trying to assassinate him as initially reported, but were shooting at other troops, a government spokesman said yesterday.

Shots were fired at the convoy Saturday after it had dropped Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak and other Cabinet members at Kabul’s airport. One bullet hit a seat where Mr. Wardak had been sitting moments earlier.

Defense Ministry spokesman Gen. Mohammed Saher Azimi said at a press conference yesterday that an investigation had found that it was “just a clash between soldiers.”

UKRAINE

Embattled president to continue reforms

KIEV — President Viktor Yushchenko told Washington that he would keep Ukraine on a pro-Western reform path as he began planning for a powerful election challenge next year from his charismatic ex-prime minister.

Mr. Yushchenko worked yesterday to muster support among key parliamentary players for Yury Yekhanurov, the liberal economist whom he has tapped to replace Yulia Tymoshenko as prime minister until parliamentary elections next March.

Mr. Yushchenko sacked Miss Tymoshenko’s government on Thursday amid infighting and graft accusations. Miss Tymoshenko announced Friday that she was joining the opposition.

BRITAIN

Police thwarted plot to kill prime minister

LONDON — Police thwarted an al Qaeda plot to assassinate Prime Minister Tony Blair during celebrations to mark Queen Elizabeth’s 50 years on the throne, according to the former London police chief.

Former Metropolitan Police Commissioner John Stevens said in a new autobiography that al Qaeda snipers intended to kill Mr. Blair and his wife, Cherie, in front of a major parade through the capital in June 2002.

“Mr. Blair remained very calm and very pragmatic. He knew there was a specific threat against him and his wife, yet he remained absolutely unfazed,” Mr. Stevens said.

ITALY

Pope calls for peace on 9/11 anniversary

CASTEL GANDOLFO — Pope Benedict XVI marked the anniversary of the September 11 attacks yesterday, calling for a global renunciation of hatred and for men and women to build a world of justice and peace.

Benedict noted the anniversary during his traditional Sunday greeting to the faithful gathered in the courtyard of the papal summer palace at Castel Gandolfo south of Rome.

“Today … we remember the victims of terrorist violence throughout the world,” the pope said. “May God inspire men and women of good will everywhere to renounce hatred and to build a world of justice, solidarity and peace.”

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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