Wed, Jul 30, 2014 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take



Summer camp reopens

After some on-the-spot guidance from the nation’s leader, Kim Jong-un, and a major face-lift, the Songdowon International Children’s Camp reopened yesterday for this year’s flock of foreign campers — more than 300 young children and teenagers from Russia, China, Vietnam, Ireland and Tanzania. The campers spend the eight days cooking, swimming, boating and mingling with their North Korean peers. Though heavily subsidized by the government, the camp — plus a tour of Pyongyang — costs about US$270 per foreign child. The camp, which has been operating for nearly 30 years, was originally intended mainly to deepen relations with friendly countries in the communist or non-aligned world, but officials say they are willing to accept youth from anywhere — even the US. The camp gives the participants an opportunity to see a country that remains a mystery to most outsiders, and Pyongyang a chance to show off the best it can offer — sleeping in air-conditioned rooms with TVs and video games is a luxury most North Korean children cannot normally experience.


Two soldiers commit suicide

The military yesterday confirmed the apparent suicides of two army privates, raising fresh questions over the deployment of young conscripts in frontline units after a deadly shooting spree last month. The two soldiers, identified by their surnames, Shin and Park, were both found hanged in their barracks on Sunday in separate locations near the heavily militarized border with North Korea, an army spokesman said. Both men, who were in their early 20s, had been placed on a list of soldiers requiring special monitoring due to concerns over their mental stability. The army spokesman said an investigation was under way in both cases. The suicides followed an incident on June 21 in which a 22-year-old sergeant surnamed Lim opened fire on members of his own unit at a border guard post, killing five and wounding seven. Lim later told interrogators that he had snapped because he felt humiliated by the other soldiers, who mocked him and drew cartoons depicting him as SpongeBob SquarePants.


UN sanctions arms ship

The UN imposed sanctions on the shipping company that operates a ship seized by Panama in July last year for carrying undeclared military equipment from Cuba, ordering all countries to freeze its assets. The UN Security Council committee monitoring sanctions on the country announced late on Monday that it had added Ocean Maritime Management Co, which is headquartered in Pyongyang and operates the vessel Chong Chon Gang, to its sanctions blacklist. Panamanian authorities stopped the Chong Chon Gang as it tried to enter the Panama Canal because they suspected it was transporting drugs. Instead, they found two Cuban fighter jets in perfect condition, missiles and live munitions beneath its cargo of sugar.


Driver kills sleeping pilgrims

A speeding truck driver yesterday ran over and killed at least 12 Hindu pilgrims who were sleeping on the side of a busy road in the northeast, police said. Four women were among the victims, while another 18 were injured in the pre-dawn accident on a national highway in the Aurangabad District of Bihar State. Upendra Kumar Sharma, superintendent of police for Aurangabad, said more than 50 pilgrims were resting for the night after visiting a temple in neighboring Jharkhand State when the truck driver lost control.

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