- The Washington Times - Monday, July 17, 2006

NORTH KOREA

Government defiant over U.N. sanctions

SEOUL — North Korea said yesterday that it was not bound by a U.N. Security Council resolution imposing weapons-related sanctions on Pyongyang and insisted the country would “bolster its war deterrent” in every way.

The Security Council had acted with “irresponsibility” by voting unanimously for a resolution requiring nations to prevent North Korea from acquiring dangerous weapons, a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

“Our republic will bolster its war deterrent for self-defense in every way … now that the situation has reached the worst phase due to the extremely hostile act of the U.S.,” the spokesman said.

IRAN

Western offer deemed acceptable for talks

TEHRAN — Iran said yesterday that Western incentives to halt its nuclear program were an “acceptable basis” for talks and that it is ready for detailed negotiations.

World powers agreed Wednesday to send Iran to the U.N. Security Council for possible punishment, saying Tehran had given no sign it would bargain in earnest over its nuclear ambitions.

But Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters in Tehran: “We consider this package an appropriate basis, an acceptable basis [for talks]. Now is an appropriate opportunity for Iran and Europe to enter detailed negotiations.”

IRAQ

Saddam continues hunger strike

BAGHDAD — Saddam Hussein spent a ninth day without food yesterday, continuing a hunger strike to demand better protection for his attorneys, after a third advocate was killed last month.

“There’s no change,” said a spokesman for U.S. military detention operations in Iraq. “Despite their refusal to eat, they’re still deemed to be in good health.”

The 69-year-old former president, along with fellow defendants, has been drinking sweet coffee and other liquid nourishment since eating his last meal on July 7, the military said.

REPUBLIC OF CONGO

Cabinda separatists agree to cease-fire

BRAZZAVILLE — Separatists in Angola’s oil-producing province of Cabinda have signed a cease-fire to end their 31-year-old independence struggle in return for greater autonomy from Luanda.

Cabinda, a coastal enclave that produces about half of Angola’s 1.4 million barrels a day of oil, is separate from the rest of the former Portuguese colony. It is wedged between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of Congo.

The agreement was signed late on Saturday by Angolan Territorial Administration Minister Virgilio Ferreira de Fontes Pereira and the head of a separatist umbrella group called the Cabindan Forum for Dialogue, Antonio Bento Bembe.

CHINA

Tropical Storm Bilis kills 115 in southeast

BEIJING — Tropical Storm Bilis killed at least 115 persons and injured hundreds as it pounded China’s southeast, toppling houses and forcing the evacuation of a prison and thousands of villages, reports said yesterday.

Thousands were stranded by high water after Bilis hit the coast Friday with drenching rain, flooding farms and damaging roads and railways. Scores of people were reported missing.

The coastal province of Fujian was hit hardest, with 43 deaths, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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