Tensions rose still higher between the US and North Korea amid reports that the latter test-fired a missile in the direction of Japan. The reports said that the projectile was of a short-range type and landed in the Sea of Japan, although confirmation was not forthcoming. White House chief of staff Andrew Card told CNN, however, "We're not surprised." Diplomats also have warned recently of indications that North Korea may be about to carry out an underground test of a nuclear weapon. Meanwhile, the North's foreign ministry lashed out at President Bush for characterizing dictator Kim Jong Il as "a tyrant" in his televised news conference late last week. Bush, the foreign ministry said, is "a half-baked man in terms of morality and a philistine whom we can never deal with."
A manhunt by police was under way for the brother of an attacker who targeted foreign tourists in Cairo - one of two incidents Saturday that wounded nine people. The attacks may have involved persons linked to an April 7 bombing that killed two Frenchmen and an American. Police said a militant, his wife, and his sister carried out the latest attacks, one a bombing and the other by shooting at a tourist bus. All three later took their own lives. The tourist industry is vital to Egypt and Islamist extremists tend to target it to weaken the economy.
US and Iraqi forces arrested 11 men suspected of involvement in the death late last year of British aid worker Margaret Hassan. But that news offered about the only relief to a pattern of terrorist violence whose pace has increased as Iraq's fledgling government prepares to function. Over the weekend, at least 79 people were killed in bombings or shootings in Baghdad, Madaen, Hillah, Mosul, and other cities.
"Some activities" preparatory to the enrichment of uranium that could be used in nuclear weapons will resume this week Iran's government announced as negotiations with Britain, France, and Germany dragged on to little evident result. Early in the negotiations, Iran announced a voluntary suspension while claiming the right to enrichment. In a televised speech Sunday, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said whoever wins the presidency next month "will not want, nor will the nation allow him to" abandon the nuclear program.
The state of emergency imposed in Nepal three months ago by King Gyanendra was lifted Saturday, but the move did little to ease tensions in the landlocked Himalayan nation. Security in the capital, Kathmandu, was tightened and antigovernment protests were banned. Meanwhile, soldiers raiding a college campus 400 miles west of Kathmandu in the belief that communist rebels were meeting there, wounded several students. The Army later acknowledged that no rebels had been present.