EUROPEThe Soviet parliament met informally for the last time and voted the Soviet Union out of existence yesterday.... Western leaders praised Mikhail Gorbachev after he resigned Christmas day, saying he had ended the cold war peacefully and allowed democracy to reach Eastern Europe. Western countries began transferring diplomatic relations to Russia and the other former Soviet republics.... In China, secret Communist Party documents reportedly state China's leaders have written off Gorbachev as a traitor to s ocialism (See related stories, Pages 1, 2, and 6). MIDDLE EAST Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek Wednesday led a political demonstration against Jewish settlers in Arab East Jerusalem. He said he opposes the trend among Jewish groups of moving into the Old City's Arab quarters.
ASIA AND THE PACIFIC North Korea told South Korea yesterday it would sign a nuclear-safeguards agreement, accept international inspection, and renounce nuclear-reprocessing and uranium-enrichment facilities. Meanwhile, North Korean President Kim Il-sung handed over command of the armed forces to his son, the designated heir Kim Jong-il. The move shifts a dynasty-style succession plan into its final stage.... In another sign of the rapidly tightening embrace between Cambodian leader Prince Norodom Sihanouk and the Phnom Penh government, two of Sihanouk's children were appointed to senior government posts yesterday.... An Indonesian investigation commission yesterday conceded that about 50 people, rather than 19 as first claimed, were killed when government troops opened fire on funeral mourners in East Timor last month.