South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and North
Korean leader Kim Jong Il have ended a landmark summit in Pyongyang, signing a wide-ranging agreement to promote peace and prosperity on the Korean peninsula. In a joint declaration announced today (Thursday), Mr. Kim and Mr. Roh agreed to push for a peace agreement to replace the cease-fire that ended the 1950-53 Korean War. The two agreed to closely cooperate to end "military hostility" and "ease tensions." They also agreed to invite China and the United States to join in talks with them to reach that goal.
Witnesses in Burma say the military government has rounded up more activists, as a U.N. envoy prepares to deliver a report today (Thursday) on last week's bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters. Witnesses say dozens of people were arrested in night time raids in the main city of Rangoon. During the day, the military has been maintaining a low-key presence on the streets. Some military officers are refusing to follow orders and there are reports of dissension in the military's ranks. One former colonel told VOA (in an interview in Bangkok) he fled Burma because he could not follow orders to use violence.
ASIA-STORM: Vietnamese officials say at least three people have died after a typhoon slammed into the country's central coast late Wednesday, knocking down power lines and blowing roofs off homes. Meteorologists say Typhoon Lekima dumped heavy rains on Vietnam's central provinces and blew winds of up to 120 kilometers-per-hour. They say the storm weakened after making landfall Wednesday night local time, and then moved toward Laos.
IRAQ-CHINA: Iraqi President Jalal Talabani says Baghdad has ordered light military equipment from China because the United States is unable to provide them and is too slow to deliver arms shipments. Mr. Talabani told the Washington Post (newspaper) Wednesday that the weapons, worth 100-million dollars, are intended for Iraq's police force. He said U.S. factories do not have the capacity to meet Baghdad's requirements. Mr. Talabani, who was in Washington for talks with President Bush, also called for faster deliveries of U.S. weapons to strengthen the Iraqi army.
Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto says she expects to reach a power-sharing agreement with President Pervez Musharraf by the end of the day. Ms. Bhutto told reporters in London that her Pakistan's People's Party expects to receive an ordinance today (Thursday) that would grant amnesty to her and other politicians charged with corruption. The amnesty has been a key demand of Ms. Bhutto, who went into self-imposed exile eight years ago to escape prosecution.
World news in Lao.