- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 13, 2006

NORTH KOREA

U.S. sought direct talks, minister says

SEOUL — South Korea’s vice foreign minister yesterday confirmed reports that the United States had offered one-on-one talks with North Korea on the communist nation’s nuclear program but was rejected.

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported Tuesday that the chief U.S. nuclear envoy, Assistant Secretary of State Christopher R. Hill, proposed a meeting with his North Korean counterpart during a recent stop in China. The North did not accept the offer, the reports said.

The unusual offer for bilateral talks came despite Washington’s public insistence that it won’t meet directly with the North but will speak to the country with other partners.

IRAN

Ahmadinejad hints at concessions

DAKAR, Senegal — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that he thought Iran’s dispute with the West over the country’s nuclear program could be resolved through negotiations and that he was open to “new conditions.”

“We are partisan to dialogue and negotiation, and we believe that we can resolve the problems in a context of dialogue and of justice together,” Mr. Ahmadinejad said.

“I am announcing that we are available, we are ready for new conditions,” he added, before leaving for Cuba for a Non-Aligned Movement summit.

ISRAEL

General who oversaw Lebanon war resigns

JERUSALEM — An Israeli general pushed aside in the middle of the recent war with Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon announced his resignation yesterday.

Maj. Gen. Udi Adam, head of the northern command responsible for securing the Israel-Lebanon border, asked to leave his post “as soon as possible,” the army said.

Israeli press reported that Gen. Adam had several disagreements with Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz, the army chief, during the war. Military analysts said Gen. Adam was seen as too cautious and hesitant.

BAHAMAS

Anna Nicole’s son’s death ‘suspicious’

NASSAU — The death of Anna Nicole Smith’s 20-year-old son was termed “suspicious” yesterday by the coroner’s office, which scheduled a formal inquiry that could lead to criminal charges.

Authorities said at least one other person was in the hospital room when Daniel Wayne Smith died Sunday while visiting his mother, a reality TV star and former Playboy playmate, three days after she gave birth to a girl.

ZIMBABWE

Arrests thwart trade union strike

HARARE — Police arrested trade union leaders and blocked streets and the main square of the capital to thwart an anti-government march, and the main labor federation apparently called off a planned nationwide strike at the last minute.

Police put leaders of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions into vans as they tried to start a procession. Spokes- man Mlamleli Sibanda said 15 union leaders and activists were arrested in Harare, 20 in the city of Bulawayo and four in the town of Chinhoyi.

GERMANY

Cabinet backs Lebanon force

BERLIN — The German government approved plans yesterday to send up to 2,400 naval and air force troops to Lebanon, underscoring Germany’s increasingly prominent role in foreign peacekeeping missions.

The German contingent will help enforce a truce between Israel and Hezbollah after a war that killed nearly 1,200 people in Lebanon, mostly civilians, and 157 Israelis, mainly soldiers.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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