NOKOR NUCLEAR: North Korea's Foreign Ministry says the country will conduct a nuclear test to bolster its defenses against what it calls United States hostility. The official Korean Central News Agency said today (Tuesday) the test will take place "in the future," but did not specify a date. North Korea has long maintained that it has a nuclear arsenal, but outside observers say there have been no known tests of any of its supposed warheads.
UN Leadership: South Korean's foreign minister Ban Ki-moon says he feels a burden of responsibility to address structural problems with the United Nations, now that his appointment as U.N. secretary-general is almost certain. After learning he was the near-unanimous choice of diplomats at the U.N. Security Council, Ban told reporters in South Korea today (Tuesday) he will work hard to make the U.N. more transparent, and restore its credibility and effectiveness.
Japan-China-SoKor: Japanese media say Japan's new prime minister, Shinzo Abe, will hold summit meetings with China and South Korea next week. Public broadcaster NHK and the Kyodo News agency report today (Tuesday) that Mr. Abe will travel to China on Sunday (Oct. 8) and South Korea on Monday for talks with their leaders. Since taking office last week, the prime minister has taken swift action to try to mend ties with Japan's closest neighbors.
RICE-MIDEAST: U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice held talks late Monday with Saudi King Abdullah in Jeddah -- the first stop on her Mideast tour aimed at exploring ways to re-start Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Before arriving in Jeddah, Rice told reporters she also is hoping win Saudi Arabia's political and financial help in efforts to stabilize Iraq. The kingdom is believed to have influence over Iraq's Sunni Arab tribes.
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