NoKor Missile: Former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung has canceled a trip to North Korea because of international concerns that the communist nation may be about to launch a long-range missile.
(Jeong Se-hyun) An aide to Mr. Kim says (today / Wednesday) the missile crisis has made it impossible for the Nobel Peace laureate to go ahead with plans to meet North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-Il, in Pyongyang next week. (Mr. Kim won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2000 for his efforts reconcile differences between the two Koreas.)
The world has focused for days on reports that North Korea is preparing to launch a long-range missile. Pyongyang says it has the right to test and develop ballistic missiles, but has otherwise been silent about its plans. Senior U.S. officials say North Korea appears to have begun launch preparations, but there is no conclusive evidence about when a rocket might be sent aloft.
Bush – Europe: President Bush has
begun talks with European Union leaders in Vienna, Austria over a number of issues, including the global war on terrorism and international trade.
Mr. Bush met this (Wednesday) morning with Austria's president (Heinz Fischer) and chancellor (Wolfgang Schuessel) at Hofburg Palace. Austria holds the rotating presidency of the European Union.
The three leaders will later hold a working lunch with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.
The European delegation has raised concerns about the U.S. detention military camp for suspected terrorists in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The Europeans are expected to pressure Mr. Bush to soften his approach in the war on terror.
Iraq: The U.S. military says Iraqi troops captured a "high-level" insurgent during a raid today (Wednesday) in Baghdad.
U.S. officials say the wanted man, Noori Abu Hayder Al-Oqabi, led "an assassination cell" that was responsible for the killing of 14 Iraqi soldiers last month. A raiding party of Iraqi troops took him into custody (early this morning) in (Shula, a neighborhood in the Kadhamiyah district of) western Baghdad.
Members of the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq acted as advisers during today's action. A military statement says Oqabi recently became the head of a "punishment committee" formed to carry out insurgents' "vigilante judgment."
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