Login
Password
Sources on this Page

> Headlines by Category

 Home / Science / Space

You are using the plain HTML view, switch to advanced view for a more complete experience.

Japan envoy invited to N. Korea over Cold War kidnappings: Abe
Tokyo (AFP) Sept 30, 2014 - North Korea has invited a Japanese envoy to Pyongyang to hear details of its investigation into the Cold War kidnappings of Japanese citizens, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Tuesday.

Tokyo announced in July it was easing sanctions against Pyongyang, following its promise to reinvestigate the cases of the abductees.

During their latest talks in China on Monday, the North Korean side said it was too early to report detailed results of the investigation, Abe told reporters.

But the North asked a Japanese envoy to visit Pyongyang to "meet members of the special investigation committee directly and hear about details of the current state of the probe", he said.

The government is considering dispatching foreign ministry officials to Pyongyang, Jiji Press said.

Japan believes dozens of people were snatched in the 1970s and 1980s to train the North's spies in the Japanese language and customs.

Japanese officials had expected the report by September, but North Korea recently said it would be unable to supply substantial details by then.

North Korea admitted in 2002 that it had kidnapped 13 Japanese citizens to train its spies.

Five of the abductees returned home but Pyongyang said -- without producing credible evidence -- that the eight others had died.

That claim provoked uproar in Japan, where there are suspicions that dozens or perhaps even hundreds of others were taken.

Tokyo and Pyongyang have no formal diplomatic ties, partially because of what Japan says is the North's unwillingness to come clean over the abductions.

Japan, N. Korea meet over Cold War kidnappings
Tokyo (AFP) Sept 29, 2014 - Japan on Monday demanded North Korea promptly report the results of its probe into the Cold War kidnappings of Japanese citizens as the two nations began talks in China.

The meeting of senior officials in Shenyang came after Tokyo announced in July it was easing sanctions against Pyongyang, following the secretive state's promise to reinvestigate the cases of Japanese abductees.

Japan believes dozens of people were snatched in the 1970s and 1980s to train the North's spies in the Japanese language and customs.

Japanese officials had expected the report by September, but North Korea recently said it would be unable to supply substantial details to that timeline.

"We believe North Korea should promptly conduct a comprehensive, all-out investigation into abduction victims and all other Japanese nationals and quickly report the results," Junichi Ihara, the head of Japan's delegation, said at the start of the one-day talks, television pictures showed.

His North Korean counterpart Song Il-Ho said the meeting was not meant to report about investigation results but to report what activity both sides have been involved in since July and clarify their current stances.

North Korea admitted in 2002 that it had kidnapped 13 Japanese citizens to train its spies.

Five of the abductees returned home but Pyongyang said -- without producing credible evidence -- that the eight others had died.

That claim provoked an uproar in Japan, where there are suspicions that dozens or perhaps even hundreds of others were taken.

Tokyo and Pyongyang have no formal diplomatic ties, partially because of what Japan says is the North's unwillingness to come clean over the abductions.

Iran nuclear talks to resume by mid-Oct: Tehran
Tehran (AFP) Sept 29, 2014 - Difficult talks between Iran and world powers on Tehran's nuclear programme will resume in Europe before mid-October, a senior Iranian official was quoted as saying Monday.

Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said the negotiations -- aimed at brokering a historic deal by a November 24 deadline -- would resume in Vienna or Geneva within two weeks.

"We have been able to have a much better understanding in a constructive atmosphere but there are differences on major issues," Araqchi told Japan's Kyodo News.

He said recent talks in New York did not make "substantive progress" and that Iran was not interested in extending the deadline.

"If it would be a deal, let's do it now, an extension would be useless and difficult," Araqchi said in the report, which was picked up by Iran's official IRNA news agency.

Negotiators from the so-called P5+1 group -- Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States plus Germany -- are seeking to reach a deal to scale back Tehran's nuclear activities by the deadline.

Western powers fear Tehran is using its nuclear programme as a cover to develop nuclear weapons. Iran says it has only peaceful intentions.

Iran wants UN and Western sanctions lifted and is pushing for the right to enrich uranium, a process which can produce material for a bomb.

Israel PM warns Iran greater threat than IS jihadists
United Nations, United States (AFP) Sept 29, 2014 - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Monday at the United Nations that a nuclear-capable Iran would pose the gravest threat to the world, far outstripping the jihadist terror from Iraq and Syria.

"Make no mistake, ISIS must be defeated," Netanyahu told the UN General Assembly, referring to the Islamic State group.

"But to defeat ISIS and leave Iran as a threshold nuclear state power is to win the battle and lose the war."

Netanyahu spoke a week after US President Barack Obama took to the UN podium to appeal for international support for the US-led coalition firing air strikes to defeat the IS jihadists.

The prime minister took a swipe at Iran's "smooth-talking" President Hassan Rouhani, accusing him of seeking a deal on Tehran's nuclear program without scrapping any bomb-making capacity.

"The Islamic republic is now trying to bamboozle its way to an agreement... that will cement Iran's place as a threshold military nuclear power," he said.

"Allowing that to happen would pose the gravest threat to us all."

A week-long round of talks between Iran and six world powers in New York ended on Friday with no breakthrough toward a deal to ensure Tehran's nuclear program cannot be used for military purposes.

Iran and the so-called P5+1 comprised of Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States plus Germany have set a deadline of November 24 to reach a historic agreement.

The six powers are asking Iran to scale back uranium enrichment, which could be used to make a nuclear bomb, but Tehran has long denied that its atomic program would be used to build a weapon.

- Rouhani's 'phony tears' -

The prime minister derided Rouhani, who spoke out against jihadists during his UN address last week, accusing him of shedding "phony tears" while engaging in a "terror campaign" of his own.

"To say that Iran doesn't practice terrorism is like saying Derek Jeter never played shortstop for the New York Yankees," he quipped, referring to the Yankees captain, who retired to great fanfare at the weekend.

"Would you let ISIS enrich uranium? Would you let ISIS build a heavy-water reactor?" he asked.

"Iran's nuclear military capabilities must be fully dismantled," Netanyahu told the Assembly, drawing applause.

Israel has repeatedly warned the West against making concessions to Tehran in talks on its nuclear program and asserted that it reserves the right to weigh military action to confront the Iranian threat.

Netanyahu made a splash two years ago when he turned up at the UN General Assembly with a large cartoon drawing of a bomb to illustrate the threat posed by Iran's nuclear program.

At this year's gathering, he showed a photograph purportedly of Hamas rocket-launchers with children playing next to them -- a scene the Israeli leader said proved that Hamas had used civilians as human shields in Gaza.

Netanyahu said jihadists in Iraq and Syria share a radical ideology with the Palestinian Hamas group that has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007, declaring: "ISIS and Hamas are branches of the same poisonous tree."

Hanan Ashrawi, an executive member of the Palestine Liberation Organization, called Netanyahu's comments a "blatant manipulation of facts" and accused him of using "hate language."

Netanyahu also drew a parallel with Nazis, saying that while they believed in a "master race", ISIS believes in a "master faith."

- 'Brazen lies' -

Netanyahu took to the podium of the world's largest diplomatic gathering, saying he wanted to expose "brazen lies" after Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas last week accused Israel of waging a 50-day "war of genocide" in Gaza.

In his address on Friday, Abbas called for an end to Israeli occupation, accused Israel of "genocidal crimes" during the Gaza war and said Palestinians living under Israeli rule faced a future of "apartheid".

Netanyahu offered a rebuttal, saying Israeli forces who fought in Gaza "deserve not condemnation but admiration" and said Israel was being "demonized."

"In what moral universe does genocide include warning the enemy civilian population to get out of harm's way or ensuring that they receive tons of humanitarian aid?" he asked.

Abbas' speech also drew a sharp rebuke from the United States, which said it contained "offensive characterizations" and undermined peace efforts.

N. Korea moving 'further away' from denuclearisation: US envoy
Beijing (AFP) Sept 29, 2014 - The US diplomat in charge of North Korea policy said Monday a speech by its foreign minister at the United Nations shows the country is moving further away from a return to six-country nuclear talks.

Glyn Davies, the special representative for North Korea policy, spoke with reporters in Beijing as he began a nearly week-long trip that will also take him to Seoul and Tokyo.

He cited "troubling further signs" that North Korea "is even more directly rejecting its responsibilities to live up to its obligation to denuclearise.

"We saw this again in a speech given by the foreign minister at the UN General Assembly in New York."

"It is essential that North Korea begin to take steps that move in that direction," he told reporters. "Instead, they're moving further and further away from that requirement."

In the first UN address by a top Pyongyang official in 15 years, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong -- in a speech to the General Assembly on Saturday -- defended his country's nuclear weapons programme, which he said was necessary due to the "hostile policy" of the US.

The day Ri spoke, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in a speech at the assembly called for a resumption of talks on the North's programme as soon as possible.

China -- along with Russia, the US, North Korea, South Korea and Japan -- is a participant in the aid-for-denuclearisation talks, which have been stalled since 2009.

Davies said the purpose of his visit to the region was to stress "the importance of getting back to the necessity of denuclearisation" which he called the centrepiece of the talks.

He added that North Korea's repeated efforts to blame the US for its nuclear programme resembled a "broken record".

Davies' visit to Beijing comes amid North Korean state media reports that leader Kim Jong-Un is suffering a bout of ill health. Kim has not been seen in public since September 3.

The US envoy played down Kim's absence from the public eye.

"For us, what's important is not so much where the leader is but what North Korea's position is on the issues that are of deep concern to us," he said, declining to take part in what he described as "a game of 'Where in the World is Kim Jong-Un?'"

Davies also said the US was "very concerned" about three US detainees in North Korea -- Kenneth Bae, Jeffrey Fowle and Matthew Miller -- and was doing everything it could to gain access to them.

"I think it's unfortunate that North Korea continues to use these Americans ... as pawns," he said.

"They simply won't engage us," he said of North Korea. "It's very frustrating. It's unhelpful. And I think it puts the lie to the contention of the regime in Pyongyang that they want to have a relationship with us."

Iran rejects Israel PM accusations on nuclear threat
Tehran (AFP) Sept 30, 2014 - Iran on Tuesday rejected as baseless accusations levelled by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that it poses a greater threat to the world than the Islamic State jihadist group.

Speaking on Monday at the UN General Assembly, Netanyahu said that "to defeat ISIS and leave Iran as a threshold nuclear state power is to win the battle and lose the war".

Netanyahu also described the IS jihadists who have captured chunks of territory in Iraq and Syria and Hamas, the Islamist militant movement that largely controls Gaza, as "branches of the same poisonous tree".

Iran's deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Khodadad Seifi, dismissed the accusations as part of Israel's campaign to undermine negotiations on his country's nuclear programme.

"The remarks made by the Israeli regime's premier include baseless allegations against the Islamic Republic of Iran and are basically made with the aim of ... justifying the crimes the regime recently committed against Palestinian civilians," said Khodadad, quoted by Fars news agency.

Israel and militants in Gaza fought a devastating 50-day war in July and August that killed 2,100 people in the Palestinian enclave and left 73 dead on the Israeli side.

Iran, which does not recognise Israel's existence, supports Gaza militants by providing them the technology needed to make the rockets to fire on the Jewish state.

Tehran is suspected by the West of seeking to develop nuclear weapons, a claim it denies. It is in talks with world powers aimed at reaching a comprehensive deal on the issue by November 24.

Israel has refused to rule out military action against Iranian nuclear facilities to prevent any possibility of it developing the technology for an atomic bomb.

The Jewish state is widely believed to have nuclear weapons but has never acknowledged it.

Terror backers' can't defeat jihadists: Syria's Assad
Damascus (AFP) Sept 30, 2014
Extremists cannot be defeated by countries that have "spread terrorism", Syria's President Bashar al-Assad said Tuesday in an apparent jab at members of the US-led anti-jihadist coalition. Speaking during a meeting with a senior Iranian official in Damascus, the Syrian leader took aim at countries he said backed "terrorists," a term his regime uses for all those seeking his ouster. "Figh
UAE asks U.S. for $900M rocket artillery deal
Washington (UPI) Sep 30, 2014
The United Arab Emirates is requesting artillery rocket systems from the United States as it continues to strengthen its ground forces. The request for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, was made through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program and is worth an estimated $900 million. The UAE had earlier requested more than 4,500 refurbished Mine Resistant Ambush Pr
Islamic State's allure causes worry in Southeast Asia
Kuala Lumpur (AFP) Sept 30, 2014
The Islamic State group's jihadist appeal is fanning fears that it could serve as a potent new rallying cry for Southeast Asian extremists who had been largely brought to heel following past deadly terror attacks. Authorities in Indonesia - the world's most populous Islamic country - and Muslim-majority Malaysia have watched with alarm as scores, possibly even hundreds, of their nationals
Modi makes White House debut
Washington (AFP) Sept 30, 2014
India's new Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived at the White House Tuesday, on the latest stop in his headline-grabbing debut tour of the world stage after his Hindu nationalist party's crushing election win. President Barack Obama welcomed Modi to Oval Office talks which both sides hope will overcome niggling differences and revive a partnership which both see as vital, but that has been u
Post Selected Items to:

Showing 10 items of about 2700

home  •   advertising  •   terms of service  •   privacy  •   about us  •   contact us  •   press release design by Popshop •   Official PR partner B2BLogger.com •   © 1999-2014 NewsKnowledge