The US government exaggerated the threat from North Korea's nuclear programs, just as it manipulated intelligence about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, a US foreign policy expert says. \nSelig Harrison said in an article published on Friday that US President George W. Bush's administration claimed that Pyongyang was on its way to producing weapons-grade uranium to scare allies Japan and South Korea into a tougher stance on the communist nation. \nBut by failing to distinguish between civilian and military uranium-enrichment capabilities, Washington greatly complicated the already complex efforts to eliminate North Korea's nuclear weapons ambitions, Harrison wrote in the Dec. 17 issue of Foreign Affairs. \n"Relying on sketchy data, the Bush administration presented a worst-case scenario as an incontrovertible truth and distorted its intelligence on North Korea [much as it did on Iraq], seriously exaggerating the danger that Pyongyang is secretly making uranium-based nuclear weapons," he said. \nIn Washington, State Department spokesman Adam Ereli dismissed the article's claims on Friday. \n"We think there is a wealth of clear and compelling evidence about North Korea's uranium enrichment program," he said. "We have known since the late 1990s that North Korea was interested in enrichment technology." \nHe said the US obtained evidence more than two-and-a-half years ago that North Korea was pursuing a covert program to enrich uranium and assessed it was aimed at making nuclear weapons. \nEreli said the US informed the North Koreans about its knowledge of the program in October 2002 and it was at that time that North Korea acknowledged to senior US officials that it was pursuing a covert program. \n"So I think that it's not a question, as Dr. Harrison suggests, of us exaggerating something, but rather the case of there being a multitude of clear and persuasive evidence that North Korea itself has acknowledged," Ereli said. \nThe article by Harrison, the director of the Asia Program and chairman of the Task Force on US-Korea Policy at the Washington-based Center for International Policy, was posted on the Foreign Affairs Web site on Friday. \nThe nuclear crisis flared after US Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly accused North Korea of running a clandestine program to enrich uranium while on a visit to Pyongyang in October 2002. \nWashington then cut off free oil shipments to North Korea that were promised under a 1994 agreement that froze North Korea's nuclear-weapons program using reprocessed plutonium, another means to create an atomic bomb. \nPyongyang retaliated, withdrawing from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and restarting its plutonium facilities. It has since denied having a uranium program.
FRENCH AID: Paris has sent a navy ship and aircraft from Reunion Island with some pollution control equipment, but rough seas are spreading the oil spill The operator of a Japanese bulk carrier which ran aground off Mauritius in the Indian Ocean yesterday apologized for a major oil spill, which officials and environmentalists say is creating an ecological disaster, as police prepared to board the ship. The MV Wakashio, operated by Mitsui OSK Lines, struck the reef on Mauritius’ southeast coast on July 25. “We apologize profusely and deeply for the great trouble we have caused,” Mitsui OSK Lines executive vice president Akihiko Ono said at a news conference in Tokyo. The company would “do everything in their power to resolve the issue,” he said. At least 1,000 tonnes of
They stand as eyesores to most passers-by and potential public health risks to authorities, decaying buildings wrapped in tangles of exposed wire, studded with protruding leaky plastic pipes, vegetation billowing from cracks and terraces where particulates from polluted air have accumulated over time. With skyscrapers and ultramodern developments on every side, some of these “nail houses” are also sitting on land worth millions of dollars in Shenzhen’s inferno of a property market, where new-unit and second-hand home prices rival London. In battles over land and development, the nail house phenomenon has become widespread throughout China over the past two decades, with owners
A cat that went missing on a family holiday on the shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland, has been identified 12 years later. Tortoiseshell-and-white Georgie spent October half term in 2008 with her owners at the Rowardennan campsite, but vanished as they were due to return home to Greater Manchester, England. After a search of the site the Davies family departed without Georgie, hoping the three-year-old microchipped feline would be located by someone. Over the intervening 12 years, she remained close to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park site, being fed and cared for by campsite staff and holidaymakers. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdown
An Italian alpine resort on Friday remained on high alert over fears that a vast chunk of a glacier on the slopes of the Mont Blanc massif could plummet in high temperatures. “No one gets through! No cars, bikes or pedestrians,” was the message at a checkpoint where an automatic barrier and two guards blocked the small road snaking up into a lush valley below the Planpincieux glacier, near the town of Courmayeur and the Italian-French border. The blockade has largely been greeted with contempt by the locals, one of whom said: “It’s a joke.” The huge ice block measuring around 500,000 cubic