Tag Archives: Kim Jong-il

Socialist Party Wins in Greece

In today’s elections in Greece, the center-right party of current Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis was defeated by the Socialist party. George Papandreou will be the new Prime Minister, CNN.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il today. The two men attended a North Korean production of the Chinese opera “A Dream of Red Mansions,” Xinhua. If talks during Wen’s three-day visit go well, the United States may send special representative for North Korea policy Stephen Bosworth to the country in an effort to restart six party talks, Yonhap.

Maoist rebels (known as Naxals) have killed 16 people in the eastern Indian state of Bihar. Naxal attacks are common in eastern India. Land disputes were likely the cause for this attack, according to a local journalist, Al Jazeera.

An inspection date has been set for the IAEA to inspect Iran’s recently revealed uranium enrichment facility. The inspection is planned for October 25, USA Today. The New York Times examines the possible effect enhanced sanctions could have on Iran and notes that a roboust black market is already in operation there, New York Times.

Earlier this week, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) added the tango to a list of “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity,” The Big Picture.

A dangerous strain of E. coli is still a problem in America’s meat industry, New York Times.

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Freed Journalists Return to U.S. Safely

The two journalists, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, who have been released from North Korean prison after former President Bill Clinton obtained a pardon from North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, have landed safely on U.S. soil and have been reunited with their families, Washington Post. The U.S. had diplomatic relations agreed to normalize relations with North Korea in the early 1990s under the George H.W. Bush administration, but the agreement was broken off after the George W. Bush administration called North Korea a member of an “axis of evil.” Relations were again picked up in 2007 when North Korea agreed to be part of the “Six Party Talks.” Though it is stressed his visit was not official, Clinton’s visit may be a sign that the U.S. is willing to resume talks.

A U.S. drone has struck the home of a family member of Baitullah Mehsud, Pakistan’s most wanted Taliban leader. It is unknown if Mehsud was in the home at the time, but there are reports that his wife was killed in the airstrike, BBC News.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was officially sworn in for his second term as Iran’s president, Reuters.

New information is available on the tragic shooting at an LA Fitness gym in Pennsylvania last night. We know that George Sodini, a 48 year-old white man, who was a member of the gym, entered a Latin dance class around 8pm last night, turned off the lights, and fired about 50 rounds from handguns. He then fatally shot himself. Three women are dead and 9 are injured, ABC News. ABC News has a link to Sodini’s online diary, Gerogesodini.com.  According to the diary, he had originally planned the shooting for January 6, 2009, but did not go through with it. Viewing the source code for the page shows that Sodini included a paragraph about his interest in a woman at the gym and his feeling that if he could strike up a relationship with her, he would not go through with the shooting. Update: The death toll is reported to now be six, including Sodini, UPI.

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Suspect in Six Murders in Police Custody

A man suspected of killing five people in Tennessee and one person in Alabama is in police custody, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation confirms. Police have not released how the victims died, but did say some of the victims were related, CNN.

Honduras is engaging in a new round of talks with ousted President Zelaya and coup leaders who overthrew him last month. President Óscar Arias of Costa Rica is mediating the talks, New York Times.

Hot Topic: Who will succeed Kim Jong Il?

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Update: North Korea Continues Nuclear Program

On April 5, 2009, Citizen’s Daily Brief reported that North Korea had launched a rocket using long range ballistic missile technology. North Korea still insists that the rocket was actually a satellite that is now orbiting in space, but the country also used world criticism of the launch as an excuse to withdraw from negotiations. The UN Security Council voted to impose new sanctions on North Korea following the launch. North Korea is now threatening to test a second nuclear weapon. North Korea tested a nuclear weapon in June 2006 and it is believed that North Korea is capable of carrying out the threat, United Press International.

Relations with North Korea appeared to be improving in the 1990s when U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright met with North Korean President Kim Jong-il. However, the Bush administration broke off relations with North Korea and famously referred to the country as part of the “Axis of Evil,” which also included Iraq and Iran.

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