President George W. Bush's national security adviser said Sunday that the US and its allies "cannot allow the Iranians to develop a nuclear weapon" and warned that Bush would "look at all the tools that are available to him" to stop Iran's program. \nCondoleezza Rice said on the NBC News program Meet the Press that she expected that the International Atomic Energy Agency would make what she called "a very strong statement" next month forcing Iran to choose between isolation or the abandonment of its nuclear weapons efforts. But she stopped short of saying whether the US could muster its allies to impose sanctions against Iran in the UN Security Council. \nUntil now, European powers and Russia have resisted US efforts to impose sanctions against Iran, which they see as a major trading partner. \nIran has insisted that its nuclear effort is entirely for the production of electric power, though the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN nuclear monitoring agency, has found evidence of covert efforts, stretching back more than 18 years, to produce highly enriched uranium suitable primarily for weapons production. \nA week ago, Iran's foreign minister, Kamal Kharrazi, said his country would resume producing parts for centrifuges, the equipment needed to enrich uranium, because European nations had not brought the Atomic Energy Agency's investigations to a close. \nBush, who took a brief break from his re-election campaign to attend a family wedding here and visit his parents, said nothing in public on Sunday. \nHe attended an early church service, went fishing with members of his family and flew back to Washington, letting his aides take the questions about Iraq, terrorism, Iran and North Korea. \nRice was responding to an article in the New York Times on Sunday that said the Bush administration's diplomatic efforts during the past 20 months to stop nuclear weapons programs in Iran and North Korea had so far failed. \nIn a veiled reference to the Clinton administration, Rice said "these are problems that developed in 1990s." She contended that there had been "diplomatic successes" in organizing North Korea's neighbors to confront the problem and spurring action against Iran at the Vienna-based Atomic Energy Agency. \n"It was, in fact, the president who really put this on the agenda in his State of the Union address, the famous `axis of evil' address," Rice said. "And our allies have really begun to respond." \nShe declined to say whether the US would support action by Israel, which says Iran's program poses a particular threat to its national security, to attack Iran's facilities the way it attacked the Osirak reactor in Iraq in 1981. \n"I don't want to get into hypotheticals on this," Rice said. \nShe noted that Russia has declared that it would provide help to Iran only if it returned its nuclear fuel to Russia so it could not be diverted for weapons. "I think you cannot allow the Iranians to develop a nuclear weapon," she said. \nRice's answer about Israel was particularly notable because, in the period before the war in Iraq, she and other senior administration officials said history had vindicated the Israeli raid on Osirak. Had that attack not crippled Iraq's main nuclear reactor, they argued, Saddam Hussein may have had access to nuclear weapons before the Persian Gulf War in 1991. \nBut it is unclear that Israel has the military capability to reach Iran's nuclear facilities, which are much farther away and well hidden among cities.
OFF BORDER ISLAND: The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel wearing a life jacket and leaving behind his shoes, indicating an intentional move, Seoul said North Korean soldiers shot dead a suspected South Korean defector at sea and burned his body as a COVID-19 precaution after he was interrogated in the water over several hours, Seoul military officials said yesterday. It is the first killing of a South Korean citizen by North Korean forces for a decade, and comes with Pyongyang at high alert over the COVID-19 pandemic and inter-Korean relations at a standstill. The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel near the western border island of Yeonpyeong on Monday, the official said. More than 24 hours later, North Korean forces located him in their waters and
ACADEMIC FREEDOM: One professor told her students to submit anonymized papers and not to record any online classes. Some US schools have announced similar steps Students at Oxford University specializing in the study of China are being asked to submit some papers anonymously to protect them from the possibility of retribution under the sweeping new security law introduced three months ago in Hong Kong. The anonymity ruling is to be applied in classes, and group tutorials are to be replaced by one-to-ones. Students are also to be warned that it will be viewed as a disciplinary offence if they tape classes or share them with outside groups. The Hong Kong National Security Law was imposed on June 30 by Beijing after more than a year of pro-democracy
Japan’s government yesterday urged people to seek help if they were struggling to cope, following Sunday’s death of the popular actress and Miss Sherlock star Yuko Takeuchi, 40. News of her death shocked the nation and follows other recent cases of Japanese celebrities taking their lives, with figures showing a recent rise in suicides. Takeuchi was a household name in Japan and had given birth to her second child in January. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato did not mention a particular case, but said that some people were struggling to cope during the COVID-19 pandemic. “There has been an uptick in the number
China on Thursday lashed out at the US at a high-level UN meeting over its criticism on the COVID-19 pandemic, with its envoy declaring, “Enough is enough.” Two days after US President Donald Trump used his annual address to the General Assembly to attack China’s record, US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft, also took an outraged tone — after which her Chinese counterpart showed palpable anger. “I must say, enough is enough. You have created enough troubles for the world already,” Chinese Ambassador to the UN Zhang Jun (張軍) told a Security Council meeting on global governance attended through videoconference