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US naval vessels enforcing a UN blockade of Iraq did not intercept a North Korean freighter believed to be carrying advanced missiles to Iran because the blockade is not directed against Iran, the Pentagon said Tuesday.... The chief Lebanese hostage negotiator, Agriculture Minister Muhsen Dalloul, yesterday reported a breakthrough in efforts to secure the release of Germans Heinrich Struebig and Thomas Kemptner. UNITED STATES

Bankrupt Continental Airlines Tuesday announced plans to add 71 daily flights by mid-June, begin service to four new destinations in Latin America and Europe, and said it is hiring several hundred employees.... A group of US House Republicans, rejecting a more-narrow ethics committee recommendation, plans to push for disclosure of the names of all members who wrote bad checks on their accounts at the House bank. The full House may vote on the issue this week.... Massachusetts Gov. William Weld (R) has si gned a redistricting plan Republicans hope will give them a chance to break the Democratic grip on the state's US House delegation. Deposed Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega has declined to testify at his own drug trial, saying a federal judge barred evidence about the US invasion of Panama and his paid intelligence work for Washington. The case could go to the jury next week, according to prosecutors. EUROPE

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Hundreds of students occupied downtown Belgrade yesterday to demand the resignation of Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic. Opposition leaders began demanding his resignation at a big rally Monday.... Former Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze has returned to power in his native Georgia after seven years away in Moscow, taking over as the head of a powerful new State Council that will wield legislative and executive power pending elections.... Irish police yesterday said they found one of the bi ggest IRA bombs ever uncovered in the Irish Republic and said they believed British forces in neighboring Northern Ireland were the intended targets.... US Secretary of State James Baker III and Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev began talks on new nuclear arms cuts yesterday that could lead to a new treaty when Russian President Boris Yeltsin visits Washington June 16. ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

The president of Daiwa Securities, Japan's second largest brokerage, resigned yesterday, saying he was taking responsibility for his company's involvement in recent scandals.... International Monetary Fund managing director Michel Camdessus said in Osaka, Japan, Tuesday that a projected imbalance between savings and investment in the years ahead may crowd out funds needed by developing and reforming countries.

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