Today's Story Line

It's premature to predict the end of the divide between North and South Korea. But a planned historic summit meeting in June is raising hopes.

Spies like us? Shared concern about Islamic terrorism is prompting more cooperation between Western and Russian intelligence agencies.

At press time, it was too early to tell if Peru's President Alberto Fujimori had won or faces a runoff. The vote is close and flawed by fraud charges.

David Clark Scott World editor


*CAUCASUS MEMORIES: Lucian Kim reported today's story about Western and Russian spy agencies working together in the Caucasus from Berlin. But he kept thinking about his own experiences during a trip through Central Asia for the Monitor in 1998. "I remember the nervous, sheep-tending Uzbek border guards who chased me away as I approached the Afghan frontier, where the Taliban had just captured the border city. Then there was the telephone operator in a hotel in Kyrgyzstan telling me how afraid she was of Islamic insurgents. I thought she was exaggerating, but last year there was fighting in that particular region. [I also remembered] sitting with an Islamist in a shed in eastern Uzbekistan, who, when he wasn't spitting out watermelon seeds, was raising his fist and crying 'we will fight.' "

* SMILE YOU'RE ON KOREAN TV: Reporter Michael Baker raced to the Unification Ministry in Seoul yesterday to attend the press conference announcing the North-South Korea summit. As the only white foreign journalist there, he says, "the cameras kept turning my way while I took notes." Later, Michael appeared on local TV as announcers said this was a story that was attracting international attention.

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