- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 14, 2005

NORTH KOREA

U.S. rejects demand for nuclear reactor

BEIJING — North Korea insisted yesterday that it should get a nuclear reactor to generate electricity in exchange for abandoning atomic weapons development, but the main U.S. envoy at disarmament talks said Washington and its partners have no intention of meeting the demand.

After his first one-on-one meeting with North Korea’s delegation at this round of six-nation talks about the communist nation’s nuclear program, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher R. Hill said the sides “did not make a lot of progress.”

The talks resumed Tuesday after a five-week recess, and include China, Japan, Russia and South Korea. The last session failed to yield an agreement after 13 days of meetings.

Under the offer on the table, North Korea would receive economic aid and security guarantees from Washington and free electricity from South Korea for dismantling its nuclear weapons program. But the Pyongyang regime also has asked for a light-water nuclear reactor.

ECUADOR

Cocaine worth $95 million seized

QUITO — A U.S. Coast Guard vessel intercepted an Ecuadorian-flagged boat carrying three tons of cocaine worth about $95 million in an operation coordinated with Ecuador, the South American country’s police said yesterday.

The boat was intercepted in international waters, apparently while it was on course for the Colombian Pacific Ocean port of Tumaco, the police said without specifying the date of the operation.

Agents arrested 12 persons onboard the boat, including seven Ecuadorians.

AFGHANISTAN

Militants slay seven carrying voter cards

SHOMALI PLAINS — Militants killed seven Afghans carrying voter ID cards, while hundreds of rockets and other weapons were found yesterday buried in the desert near Kabul, raising fears of attacks on the capital with landmark elections just days away.

NATO-led peacekeepers discovered the weapons in two caches hidden in a stony gully on the Shomali Plains, about 18 miles north of Kabul. About 200 rockets, three anti-aircraft rocket launchers, three anti-tank mines and two boxes of explosives were dug up and taken away to be destroyed.

CHILE

High court lifts Pinochet immunity

SANTIAGO — Chile’s Supreme Court, in a 10-6 vote, lifted the legal immunity of former dictator Augusto Pinochet yesterday so he can face charges over the disappearance of regime opponents.

The move allowed prosecutors to lay charges against Gen. Pinochet for “Operation Colombo,” in which 119 members of the Revolutionary Leftist Movement disappeared in July 1975 under his rule and are presumed dead.

NEPAL

Protests grow despite crackdown

KATMANDU — Police fired tear gas and beat protesters with batons yesterday as 7,000 people poured into the center of the Nepalese capital in continuing pro-democracy rallies.

It was the largest demonstration in 11 straight days of protests against King Gyanendra’s direct rule over this Himalayan kingdom.

About 200 people were arrested and at least 20 reportedly were injured as police broke up the rally in Ranta Park — an area in the city that authorities have declared off-limits to protests.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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