ລິ້ງ ສຳຫລັບເຂົ້າຫາ

North Korea to Close Land Border with South


KOREAS - RELATIONS: North Korea is warning that it will close border crossings to the South beginning December first. The North's official Korean Central News Agency issued a statement today that it is closing all passages at the Military Demarcation Line separating the bitter rivals. A spokesman for South Korea's Unification Ministry says Pyongyang's actions will have a negative impact on inter-Korean relations. The move will affect South Koreans working at an inter-Korean industrial complex in Kaesong, an ancient city located just north of the border.

NOKOR - NUCLEAR: North Korea says it will not agree to allow samples to be taken from its nuclear facilities as part of international efforts to end its nuclear weapons program. The remarks provide the first details from Pyongyang about an ongoing effort to establish a verification process for the dismantling of its nuclear program. A Foreign Ministry statement today carried by the official Korea Central News Agency revealed the details. The statement said a request for samples would be considered to be the same as a house search and breach of North Korea's sovereignty.

TAIWAN GRAFT: A court in Taiwan has ordered the formal detention of former President Chen Shui-bian on corruption charges. Mr. Chen was taken into custody early today after six hours of questioning on charges that he said were politically motivated. Court proceedings were interrupted briefly late Tuesday after Mr. Chen was taken to a hospital. Mr. Chen said policemen injured him while he was being transferred Tuesday from the prosecutors' office to the courthouse. Doctors said his arm was slightly injured, but found him fit to continue with the hearing after he was treated.

WORLD ECONOMY: The speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, has called on Congress to pass legislation giving the U.S. automobile industry emergency financial assistance. Pelosi made the call Tuesday in a statement, urging lawmakers to quickly pass an amendment to the 700-billion-dollar government bailout package that would allow automakers access to the funds slated for banks and financial service firms. She did not say how much aid should be allocated to the auto industry. Monday, President-elect Barack Obama and President George Bush discussed possible aid to the troubled U.S. auto industry.

DRC - FIGHTING: The United Nations Security Council is considering an appeal by the secretary-general to boost the U.N. peacekeeping force in the Democratic Republic of Congo. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has called for an additional three-thousand troops for the overstretched U.N. mission in eastern Congo, calling the situation there "increasingly desperate." He says fighting in the region between rebels and government forces has cut off aid to at least 100-thousand displaced people. The council is expected to take action on Mr. Ban's request by the end of the month.

PAKISTAN - VIOLENCE: Pakistani police say gunmen have shot dead a U.S. aid official and his driver in a volatile area of northwestern Pakistan. Police officials say the aid official and his driver were ambushed today in the University Town neighborhood in Peshawar, capital of the North-West Frontier Province. The U.S. embassy in Islamabad refused to identify the aid worker, who security officials say was involved with projects for tribal areas in the region. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack. Elsehwere, a suicide car bomber has killed at least two soldiers in an attack on a military site in a volatile area of the northwest.

INDIA - MISSILE: Defense officials in India say a nuclear-capable missile has been test-fired from India's eastern coast. They say a submarine-based K-15 ballistic missile with a top range of 700 kilometers was launched today from a test range in Orissa state. India also tested the K-15 missile from an undersea platform earlier this year. India is part of an exclusive club of countries with the ability to launch missiles from land, air and sea -- such as the United States, Russia, France and China. India's neighbor, Pakistan, has also tested nuclear weapons.

IRAN - MISSILE: Iran says it has successfully test-fired a new generation of ground to ground missiles. Iranian state media (IRNA) quote Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar as saying the high-speed Sejil missiles use solid fuel. He said they were made by Iranian aerospace experts of the armed forces. Najjar also said the missiles were intended for defense purposes. It was unclear where the missiles were tested. Iran has tested missiles in the past and is believed to possess a medium-range rocket known as the Shahab-Three.

SOMALIA: Witnesses in Somalia say Islamist insurgents have seized the port of Merka, located about 90 kilometers south of the capital of Mogadishu. Residents say the insurgents belong to the al-Shabab militia, which has been fighting to capture territory from the U.N.-backed interim government and its Ethiopian allies. On Tuesday, the heavily-armed group seized two towns in the region, Qoryoley and Bulo Marer. A Somali police official said forces withdrew after being confronted by nearly one-thousand insurgent fighters.

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