NORTH KOREA ISSUES DIRE WARNING In one of its strongest threats so far, North Korea warned yesterday that any punitive sanctions against its nuclear program would instantly provoke war. The warning came as the United States and its allies were preparing to seek a United Nations resolution to punish North Korea for refusing to allow full nuclear inspections as required by an international controls treaty. ``Sanctions mean outright war,'' said a statement issued by North Korea's chief organization overseeing inter-Korea affairs. Despite the North's warnings, there were no signs that Pyongyang's Communist government was massing troops along its border with South Korea, Seoul officials said. Senior officials of the United States, South Korea, and Japan met in Washington last week and decided to seek UN sanctions against North Korea. Yemen cease-fire offer

The Yemeni government in Sana said yesterday it was offering an indefinite cease-fire with southern forces. Foreign Minister Mohammad Salem Basendwa told reporters in Sana northern forces would observe the cease-fire until and unless southern forces violated it. Earlier, northern warplanes accidentally hit tanks at the nation's most important oil refinery. Teamsters approve pact

The Teamsters union overwhelmingly approved a new national trucking contract, giving the pact a margin of more than 50,000 votes. The union had reached tentative agreement with Trucking Management Inc. on April 28, ending a three-week strike. The agreement was presented for rank-and-file consideration without a formal recommendation from union leaders on whether it should be approved. The four-week mail balloting resulted in 67,784 votes being cast for the agreement and 15,729 votes against, the union said. Haitian support

Haitians would be more apt to help the US military in an invasion than help their own Army, the prime minister said Sunday. Robert Malval's statement comes despite a warning by the provisional government that support of a foreign invasion would be considered treason. The Clinton administration has not ruled out military intervention to force out the ruling Army and help return exiled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to power. 12-year-old flyer

A 12-year-old girl who piloted a small plane from Maine to San Diego last year has begun her next big challenge: a flight across the Atlantic. Vicki Van Meter, a sixth-grader from Meadville, Pa., took off Sunday from the Augusta, Me., State Airport. Because Vicki is too young to fly solo, her flight instructor, Curt Arnspiger, is going along for the ride.

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