North Korea should be given yet another reward for disabling its nuclear facilities, its chief delegate to last week's six-nation talks in Beijing said. Kim Kye-gwan said the North now wants light-water reactors, a demand that analysts say may well raise a new obstacle to future negotiations. It already has been promised 50,000 tons of fuel oil for shutting down the Yongbyon reactor. Kim also said the North would weigh how much trust had been built up with its negotiating partners before deciding whether to submit a required report on all of its nuclear secrets.Skip to next paragraph
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The Taliban extended until mid-afternoon Monday a deadline for South Korea to agree to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan in exchange for the release of 23 hostages. Otherwise, the militants said, the hostages would be killed. The Taliban also demanded the release of its prisoners from Afghan jails. South Korea has 200 engineers and doctors in Afghanistan and has planned for their return at year's end.
Polling places closed across Turkey Sunday night after balloting for a new parliament. In a showdown between the ruling Islamist-based AK Party and secular rivals determined to keep Islam out of politics, the latter appeared positioned to make strong gains, according to late opinion surveys. As Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan waited for returns, he told reporters, "Our democracy will emerge ... strengthened."
Still more pressure mounted against Brazil's government over aviation safety after air traffic radar failed for hours early Saturday, forcing the delay or cancellation of hundreds of flights. The shutdown, four days after the worst plane crash in the nation's history, came despite President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva's pledge to upgrade safety. The Air Force, which is responsible for the system, said it was investigating the possibility that disgruntled controllers deliberately had switched off the radar.
Ten minutes before a powerful bomb was set to explode, police in Sri Lanka's capital defused Sunday. A spokesman accused Tamil separatist rebels of planting the device in a market popular with majority Sinhalese. Rebel spokesmen were not available to comment on the accusation. Analysts, however, noted that the rebels have pledged not to target civilians in their campaign for autonomy.
A defunct government agency was reauthorized in Zimbabwe to seize businesses accused of trying to topple President Robert Mugabe through "economic sabotage." Industry Minister Obert Mpofu was quoted Saturday as saying the StateTradingCorp. would "get rid of ... the owner" of any company failing to comply with the government's order to halve the prices of consumer goods and services. Analysts predicted still more measures before next March's national election aimed at protecting Mugabe's hold on power.
Hundreds of soldiers and police patrolled the streets of Oaxaca, Mexico, as the city prepared for Monday's opening of a world-famous cultural festival. The state government has vowed that the Guelaguetza will take place despite last week's violent protests by leftists trying to force its cancellation. Forty people were arrested and 19 others were hurt in the confrontation, which appeared intended to embarrass Gov. Ulises Ruiz. The protesters, who prevented last year's Guelaguetza, are trying to force Ruiz from office.
At least 26 people were killed and 14 others were seriously hurt when a bus returning them to Poland from a religious pilgrimage fell off a road in the French Alps onto a river bank and caught fire Sunday.Rescuers were searching for still more passengers who were reported missing. The bus had passed a safety inspection three weeks ago, the organizer of the trip said.