South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun has voiced satisfaction after his first day of formal talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang. Mr. Roh's spokesman said the two sides would draft an agreement on Thursday before the end of their meetings -- the first such talks between the two nations in seven years. Mr. Roh's upbeat comments came shortly after he rejected an unexpected offer from Mr. Kim to extend their summit by one day, until Friday. Earlier, Mr. Roh said that while the two did not share the same views on all matters they discussed, the meeting did confirm their mutual desire for peace. Mr. Roh also said the two countries need to build more trust.
BURMA: Burmese security forces maintained a tight grip on the streets
in Burma's main city of Rangoon today (Wednesday), after a United Nations rights body condemned the military-led government's crackdown on peaceful opposition protests. Witnesses say military trucks continue to patrol Rangoon, and western diplomats say the Burmese people are staying off the streets because they are terrified. Diplomats say they are told that authorities are conducting raids under the cover of night and picking up people.
SDBR: JAPAN: Japan's Foreign Minister says Tokyo is considering cutting back its donations to the military-ruled Burma in protest of last week's killing of a Japanese journalist by Burmese security forces. In comments to reporters today (Wednesday), Masahiko Komura said that Japan will not stop aid that benefits ordinary people, such as its aid to combat polio, but noted that officials were considering suspending other assistance. Japanese journalist Kenji Nagai was shot dead last Thursday while covering the Burmese military's violent crackdown on mass pro-democracy protests in Rangoon. The 50-year old journalist worked for a Tokyo-based video news service (APF News).
U.S-HMONG SHOOTING: The trial of a white man accused of shooting and stabbing a Hmong immigrant to death began Tuesday in (the midwestern U.S. state of) Wisconsin. James A. Nicols allegedly killed Hmong immigrant Cha Vang in January, after the two got into a dispute while hunting for squirrels. Nicols admits that he killed Vang, but his defense attorney told the court in northern Wisconsin today (Tuesday) that the killing was in self-defense.
Nicols says Vang was yelling at him in a foreign language and shot him in the hand. Vang's family says he was a kind man who spoke no English and would not provoke a fight. An autopsy concluded that Vang was hit with a shotgun blast, stabbed multiple times and had a stick shoved into his mouth. When he was first detained, Nicols told investigators that Vang had been interfering with this hunt.
The case has heightened tensions between white hunters and ethnic Hmongs in eastern Wisconsin and brings back memories of a 2004 mass shooting of six whites by a Hmong hunter, who claimed the men had yelled racial epithets and threatened him.
IRAQ: Poland's ambassador to Iraq was wounded as explosions targeted his diplomatic convoy in Baghdad today (Wednesday). Iraqi officials say one civilian passerby was killed and at least four other people were wounded in the attack which happened in al-Arasat neighborhood of the city. The officials said the ambassador (General Edward Pietrzyk) was taken to a nearby hospital. He is said to have suffered non life-threatening injuries. Poland strongly supported the U.S-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, and currently has around one-thousand troops in the country.
Linten to our World News in Lao.