South and North Korean officials announced yesterday that they had reached an agreement to open cross-border roads and make test runs on two railways across their heavily fortified frontier in coming months. \nUnder the accord, which followed a four-day meeting of economic officials in the North Korean capital, the two sides will open two roads, one across the western part of the inter-Korean border and the other in the east. \nThey will also test-run two railways running alongside the roads, a media pool report from Pyongyang said. \n"The South and North ... shall test run on the linked sections of the railways in October 2004," said a joint statement. \n"In addition, the two sides will open the Seoul-Sinuiju road and the Eastern road no later than in October," it said. \nThe two sides also agreed to set up by the end of June a joint agency to run an industrial park being built in North Korea's Kaesong city near the border and appoint a South Korean to oversee it. \nThe sprawling park, mainly housing hundreds of South Korean garment and other labor-intensive plants, will be connected to the western cross-border transport links. \nElectricity for the complex will come from the South after the state-run Korea Electric Power Corp. completes building powerlines by late September. \nProduction at the complex will start by the end of this year, the agreement said. \nSouth and North Korean officials at the meeting also said they needed to speed up work on a demonstration complex in the park to ensure that South Korean firms move in and begin production, officials from Seoul said. \nFifteen firms out of 136 applicants seeking to operate in the Kaesong complex have been selected, including watch maker Romanson. \n"The South, out of brotherly love and the principle of mutual help, will provide the North with a loan of 400,000 tonnes of rice," the agreement said. \nThe breakthrough is expected to expand cooperation and contribute to stability on the peninsula, South Korea's Yonhap news agency said. \nThe accord at the Pyongyang economic talks followed a breakthrough Friday in separate military talks in a South Korean resort where the two sides agreed to ease tension along the world's last Cold War frontier. \nGeneral-level officers of the Koreas agreed to set up a hotline and to avoid accidental armed clashes in the disputed western sea border.
POLAND-GERMANY RIFT: Warsaw’s response to Berlin over a NATO system that would increase the alliance’s involvement in the war came as Kyiv accused Russia of war crimes Anti-missile systems that Germany offered to send to Poland should instead go to Ukraine, the Polish government said on Thursday, a proposal that is likely a nonstarter for Berlin because it would significantly ratchet up NATO involvement in Ukraine. Poland’s surprising response to Berlin’s offer was welcomed by Ukraine, which is desperate to protect its airspace as barrages of Russian missiles have knocked out power across the country. German Minister of Defense Christine Lambrecht said that use of NATO defense systems outside its territory needs to be agreed by all member states. “It is important to us that Poland can rely on allies
AWAITING EXTRADITION: Daniel Duggan has been classified as ‘extreme high risk,’ has not been allowed to use stationery and has been denied treatment, his lawyer said The lawyer for a former US military pilot arrested in Australia and facing possible extradition to the US said that his client was wrongly classified as an “extreme high-risk” prisoner, and he had asked the attorney-general to release him. Former US Marines pilot Daniel Edmund Duggan was arrested in New South Wales in October at the request of the US government, the same week the UK announced a crackdown on its former military pilots working to train Chinese military fliers. The US must lodge an extradition request for Duggan by Dec. 20 under a bilateral treaty, a Sydney court was told yesterday.
WARTIME DIPLOMACY: Zelenskiy met EU leaders and hosted the International Summit on Food Security, which included discussions on agricultural exports from Ukraine Fleeing shelling, civilians on Saturday streamed out of the southern Ukrainian city whose recapture they had celebrated just weeks earlier. The exodus from Kherson came as Ukraine solemnly remembered a Stalin-era famine and sought to ensure that Russia’s war in Ukraine does not deprive others worldwide of its vital food exports. A line of trucks, vans and cars, some towing trailers or ferrying out pets and other belongings, stretched 1km or more on the outskirts of the city of Kherson. Days of intensive shelling by Russian forces prompted a bittersweet exodus: Many civilians were happy that their city had been won back, but
Polish women have not been this angry for this long, and they are taking on the ruling conservatives. Incensed by remarks from the country’s most powerful politician, former Polish prime minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who accused them of drinking excessively and keeping the birthrate low, many took the streets of Warsaw on Monday. It is a repeat of scenes from two years ago when hundreds of thousands of women marched against a near-total ban on legal abortions, in Poland’s largest public protests in decades. What is different this time is that the ruling party is facing the biggest challenge to its two-term rule before