S. KOREA REJECTS N. KOREAN OFFER South Korea on April 12 rejected a North Korean offer to hold a conference on reunification of the peninsula, saying the idea would in no way help settle a bitter dispute over Pyongyang's nuclear program. Communist North Korea told the South on April 11 it hoped to deliver letters to political and civic leaders containing the proposal to hold the conference in Pyongyang or Seoul on Aug. 15, the 49th anniversary of Korea's liberation from Japanese rule. A unification ministry spokesman said South Korea would decline to take delivery of the letters. The two Koreas have had no border contact since March 18 when talks broke down. China dissident freed
China freed veteran government critic Xu Wenli on April 12, relatives said, after five days of interrogation that fanned international controversy over its human rights practices. The government defended its right to detain any citizen, despite Western criticism. Egypt emergency law
The Egyptian parliament on April 11 extended emergency law for three years. Emergency law, which gives the security forces broad powers of arrest and detention, has been in force since Muslim militants assassinated President Anwar Sadat in 1981. Human rights groups say it has been used to detain thousands of people, many for political reasons. Guatemala security
Guatemalan President Ramiro de Leon Carpio announced on April 11 that Guatemala's powerful military would take charge of the country's internal security in an effort to combat violence and growing unrest. Mr. De Leon said the Army's participation would not lead to militarization. Guatemala has been in a state of crisis for the past month with a series of attacks on foreigners, assassinations, and kidnappings. In the latest incident a seven-year-old American girl was kidnapped on April 11. Zhirinovsky denounced
The head of a Russian parliamentary delegation distanced himself April 11 from ultranationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky's anti-Western comments at a Council of Europe meeting. At a news conference, Vladimir Shumeiko dismissed Mr. Zhirinovsky as a man out of touch with most Russians, who want peaceful relations with the rest of Europe. Argentine elections
Argentine President Carlos Menem was in a strong position April 11 to go ahead with his reelection campaign after his Peronist Party won elections for a special assembly to rewrite Argentina's Constitution. The assembly will consider amending the Constitution to lift the ban on presidents running in consecutive elections. But Mr. Menem was disappointed by the Peronists' failure to win an outright majority.