No agreement on N Korea
Premier Wen Jiabao (溫家寶), Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak have issued a post-summit joint declaration that makes no reference to North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. Both Noda and Lee told reporters of the need to prevent “provocations” from Pyongyang after the main meeting on Sunday. However, a Japanese official said yesterday that the three nations were not able to agree on suitable wording for the 50-point declaration of cooperation issued after the summit. The official declined to go into detail about the disagreement over the wording, but China is generally believed to favor a cautious policy toward the regime.
Fishing ban starts tomorrow
Beijing is set to enforce its annual fishing ban in the South China Sea, but the Philippines says it will not recognize the ban in waters both countries claim. The ban that begins tomorrow is meant to conserve resources and curb overfishing. Xinhua news agency cited a South China Fisheries Administration Bureau official on Sunday as saying the ban includes waters around Huangyan Island (黃岩島), which Manila calls Panatag Shoal and is known internationally as Scarborough Shoal. Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario says his nation does not recognize the Chinese ban and suggested Filipinos would continue to fish in its territorial waters. Ships from both nations have been standing off at the shoal since April 10.
Security tightened for Lee
The government has tightened security for an official visit by South Korean President Lee Myung-bak yesterday, the first by a South Korean leader since an assassination attempt by North Korean commandos nearly 30 years ago. A statement from his office said Lee was flying first to Naypyitaw to meet with President Thein Sein as part of a two-day visit that “is expected to strengthen ties” between the Asian countries. Truckloads of riot police were stationed around Yangon, where Lee was to visit today and meet opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Security was particularly tight at the Martyr’s Mausoleum, a shrine to Aung San Suu Kyi’s father, where then-South Korean president Chun Doo-hwan was nearly killed in 1983. The bomb blast killed 21 people, 17 of them South Korean, including four Cabinet ministers and the South Korean ambassador. Chun was not hurt because he was stuck in traffic and arrived a few minutes late.
Jeepney crash kills 11
Police in the north say a jeepney so overloaded that passengers were riding on the rooftop has plunged into a 150m deep ravine, killing 11 people and injuring another 10. Provincial police chief William Bequeno says the vehicle lost control on Sunday while negotiating a rough patch of a mountain road. The jeepney was carrying nearly 30 passengers.
Bomb blast kills nine
Authorities say a bomb has exploded at a market in the north, killing nine people, including a local official. The Ministry of the Interior says the bomb went off yesterday morning inside a shop in a market in Faryab Province’s Ghormuch District. The dead included a council member from a neighboring province. In a separate statement, the ministry said police killed 18 insurgents in operations across the country over the past 24 hours.
Serial killer suspect on trial