Morning Brief, Thursday, October 19, 2006
North Korea A Chinese envoy meets with Kim Jong-Il as rumors of a second test swirl. Condoleezza Rice's entourage, in Seoul now, is confident that the envoy carried a tough message. Risking Rice's ire, Seoul defends two business projects with the North. South Korea will continue two business projects in North Korea, ignoring U.S. claims ...
A Chinese envoy meets with Kim Jong-Il as rumors of a second test swirl. Condoleezza Rice's entourage, in Seoul now, is confident that the envoy carried a tough message.
Risking Rice's ire, Seoul defends two business projects with the North.
South Korea will continue two business projects in North Korea, ignoring U.S. claims a tourism venture is a source of revenue for Kim Jong Il's cash-strapped nation that is under UN sanctions for a nuclear weapon test.
Rumsfeld is skeptical that inspections can stop North Korea from proliferating.
This piece on North Korean defectors suggests a state that is slowly losing its grip.
In a country whose borders were sealed until a decade ago, defectors once risked not only their own lives but those of the family members they left behind, who were often thrown into harsh prison camps as retribution. Today, state security is no longer the main obstacle to fleeing, according to defectors, North Korean brokers, South Korean Christian missionaries and other experts. Now, it is cash.
PM Maliki pleads with Sadr and Sistani for help quelling sectarian violence.
Ayatollah Sistani, a peacemaker in previous confrontations between the American forces and Mr. Sadr, is widely viewed in Iraq as the only Shiite leader with the potential authority to subdue the Shiite militias.
But can the top clerics actually control the violence? Militia groups are dividing into smaller and more lethal groups, according to this account.
In the void forged by the sectarian tensions gripping Baghdad, militias are further splintering into smaller, more radicalized cells, signifying a new and potentially more volatile phase in the struggle for the capital.
On a trip to Moscow, Israeli PM Olmert hands Putin evidence that Hezbollah used Russian arms. He also had some tough words for Iran.
[I]n no case will we reconcile with nuclear arms in the hands of Iran. This is a fundamental question for us, and I made it clear that the State of Israel has no margin of error, has no privilege to err. There is no way to prevent nuclear arms, if Iran is not afraid."
Another in a spate of suicide attacks in Afghanistan—just as NATO asks for more peacekeepers.
The attack came shortly before the Secretary-General of Nato issued a fresh appeal for more troops and investment to help calm the situation in Afghanistan where a spiral of violence, including near-daily suicide attacks, have killed around 3,000 people.
Students clash in Santiago over education reform.
Is Borat headed to Kazakhstan?
A top official from Kazakhstan has invited comedian Sacha Baron Cohen— who pokes fun at the country as his character Borat—to visit the country. "I'd like to invite Cohen here. He can discover a lot of things," said deputy foreign minister Rakhat Aliyev.
David Bosco is a professor at Indiana University’s Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies. He is the author of The Poseidon Project: The Struggle to Govern the World’s Oceans. Twitter: @multilateralist
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