- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 29, 2006

VIETNAM

New president wants closer U.S., China ties

HANOI — Vietnam’s new president said yesterday he will push for closer relations with the United States and China, signaling he is ready to play a more active role in a position that has largely been ceremonial.

“With President Bush as well as President Hu Jintao, we will discuss [measures] to strengthen bilateral relations and make the relations increasingly closer for mutual development,” President Nguyen Minh Triet told reporters.

Legislators elected Mr. Triet, 63, Communist Party chief of Ho Chi Minh City, as the country’s new president. He is known as an economic reformer and has a reputation for fighting corruption.

CHINA

Pyongyang’s envoy warned on missile

BEIJING — China has made the rare move of summoning the North Korean ambassador to Beijing to convey its concerns over the North’s potential launching of a ballistic missile, diplomatic sources said yesterday.

Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei conveyed Beijing’s position to North Korean Ambassador Choe Jin Su in a meeting at the Foreign Ministry last week, the sources said. South Korea’s state intelligence organization believes North Korea has not finished fueling a long-range missile it may launch, a South Korean lawmaker said yesterday.

The National Intelligence Service made the report to an intelligence committee session of the National Assembly, Chung Hyung-Keun, who attended the closed-door session, said at a news briefing.

Mr. Chung said the intelligence agency reported to the committee it seems at the moment that the missile is on launching pad but fuel has not yet been put into the tanks.

PHILIPPINES

Court told bruises indicate forced sex

MANILA — A Filipino doctor testifying at a rape trial involving four U.S. Marines said yesterday that the accuser suffered injuries consistent with a sexual assault.

Dr. Rolando Ortiz II of the James Gordon Memorial Hospital in Olongapo told the court he examined the 22-year-old woman two days after she was reputedly raped by a Marine while the three others cheered him on.

Asked whether her injuries were consistent with rape, he replied: “It is consistent,” adding that the woman suffered bruises on her arms, legs and genital area. The rape charge is punishable by up to 40 years in prison.

Weekly notes …

Canberra denied yesterday charges it was involved in ousting East Timor’s prime minister Mari Alkatiri as Australian soldiers faced a new outbreak of political unrest. Australia has about 1,500 troops and police in the tiny Pacific nation. Mr. Alkatiri resigned under pressure from President Xanana Gusmao Monday after being blamed for fighting that broke out between factions of the military and police in Dili, the capital. … Playboy magazine’s editor in chief and first centerfold model in Indonesia were formally named by police yesterday as suspects in an indecency case. Authorities said they were investigating Kartika Gunawan, a woman who posed in lingerie in the April edition first published in Jakarta, the capital, and Erwin Arnada, the editor. Its debut caused a stir in the mainly Muslim nation of 220 million, prompting the publisher to relocate its offices to the resort island of Bali.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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