- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 9, 2009

NORTH KOREA

U.S. envoy seeks return to nuke talks

SEOUL | An envoy dispatched by President Obama launched a mission Tuesday to coax North Korea to rejoin international talks on ending its nuclear programs amid warnings of strong sanctions if Pyongyang refuses.

Veteran diplomat Stephen Bosworth’s visit is being watched for signs as to whether the isolated communist country will return to the negotiating table after carrying out an atomic test blast in May and quitting the six-nation talks.

Mr. Bosworth arrived in the North Korean capital Tuesday along with Washington’s lead nuclear negotiator, Sung Kim.

In Washington, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told reporters that Mr. Bosworth and his team likely had meetings Tuesday and expected more high-level talks Wednesday. He said U.S. officials don’t expect any communication with Mr. Bosworth’s group until it leaves North Korea.

PAKISTAN

12 killed in attack on intelligence office

MULTAN | A team of militants launched a gun, rocket and suicide attack on an intelligence office in central Pakistan on Tuesday, killing 12 people in a strike that showed the insurgents can hit deep in the heart of the country.

A day earlier, twin bombings at a market in the eastern city of Lahore killed 49.

In the capital, prosecutors presented the Supreme Court with a list of purported graft cases involving President Asif Ali Zardari and thousands of other officials that could be reopened if judges there declare illegal a recently expired amnesty protecting them.

UGANDA

Bill proposes death penalty for gays

KAMPALA | Proposed legislation would impose the death penalty on some gay Ugandans, and their families and friends could face up to seven years in prison if they fail to report them to authorities. Even landlords could be imprisoned for renting to homosexuals.

The legislation was proposed in Uganda after a visit by leaders of U.S. conservative Christian ministries that promote therapy for gays to become heterosexual. However, at least one of those leaders has denounced the bill, as have some other conservative and liberal Christians in the United States.

David Bahati, the legislator sponsoring the bill, said he was encouraging “constructive criticism” to improve the law, but insisted that strict measures were necessary to stop gays from “recruiting” schoolchildren.

JAPAN

Talks suspended on U.S. base

TOKYO | Talks on the relocation of a major American military base have been suspended, deepening a deadlock between the United States and Japan.

Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada said Tuesday that a high-level working group that was convened to discuss the move has been suspended, and no date for a restart had been set, the Kyodo News agency reported.

Many on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa want the U.S. base closed and its functions moved off the island altogether. The relocation of the Marine Corps Air Station Futenma is at the center of a dispute between Tokyo and Washington.

HONDURAS

Top anti-drug official killed

TEGUCIGALPA | Gunmen on motorcycles ambushed and killed Honduras’ top anti-drug official in the capital Tuesday, just two months before he planned to retire and move to Canada.

Former army Gen. Julian Aristides Gonzalez, director of the Office for Combating Drug Trafficking, was driving alone after dropping off his daughter at school when assailants opened fire and then fled, police said. Last year, Gen. Gonzalez, 57, said he had received death threats from drug traffickers.

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