A cargo train between North and South Korea and tours from the South to the communist state stopped on Friday under a border clampdown called for by Pyongyang in anger at the conservative government in Seoul.
But a large number of South Koreans who work at a joint industrial enclave in the North Korean border city of Kaesong were being allowed to keep permits to enter the factory park there, despite an earlier vow by Pyongyang to expel many of them by December 1, officials said.
Officials from Hanoi and Moscow signed a joint statement and an agreement of cooperation between their friendship associations in Hanoi on November 26, the first day of a three-day visit by a senior delegation from Moscow, reports the Vietnam News Agency.
North Korea’s Kim Jong Il paid visits to machinery and soap-making factories, state media reported, the latest in a series of dispatches in recent weeks about public appearances by a leader believed to be recovering from a stroke.
Kazakhstan’s lower house of Parliament approved controversial legislation Wednesday to increase government control over religious groups, drawing criticism from a major international group is to lead in 2010, according to the AP.
Rights groups say the amendments to the country’s law on religion will hinder religious minorities in the sprawling Central Asian country and could force some of them out of existence.
Kazakhstan, where Muslims and Christians each make up about 45 percent of the population, has sought in recent years to cast itself as an active promoter of Christian communities — including Baptists and Lutherans, largely from the ethnic German population — have come under government scrutiny.. But some
reports the WSJ:
China postponed indefinitely an annual summit with the European Union, apparently because of French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s plans to meet with Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.
The postponement follows an announcement earlier this month that Mr. Sarkozy would meet with the Dalai Lama in Poland next month. It is expected that other European leaders also will meet the Dalai Lama.
The EU said in a statement that it “regrets” China’s decision not to attend the 11th EU-China summit, which was to begin Monday in the French city of Lyon.
Beketov’s fate is a graphic illustration of the dangers of working as a journalist in Vladimir Putin’s Russia. His story is depressingly typical: according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Russia is now the third most dangerous place in the world to work as a reporter, after Iraq and Algeria.
reports the Guardian
from the nytimes:
North Korea said this week it would be expelling South Korean officials and some business managers from the park in Kaesong, just north of the border, on December 1 in anger at South Korean President Lee Myung-bak’s policy to get tough on Pyongyang.
“On the afternoon of November 28, they will cross the Military Demarcation Line and pull out to the South,” Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Ho-nyeon told a news briefing, referring to government workers stationed at the industrial park.
According to the New York Times, the Chinese government reacted angrily on Monday to what it called a slanderous United Nations report that alleges systemic torture of political and criminal detainees. The government said the authors were biased, untruthful and driven by a political agenda.
The report, issued Friday by the United Nations Committee Against Torture, documented what the authors described as widespread abuse in the Chinese legal system, one that often gains convictions through forced confessions.
The report recounts China’s use of “secret prisons” and the widespread harassment of lawyers who take on rights cases, and it criticizes the government’s extralegal system of punishment, known as re-education through labor, which hands down prison terms to dissidents without judicial review.
The Associated Press reports:
China’s border police have significantly beefed up their presence at the base of Mount Everest amid rising visitor numbers and increasing cases of theft, prostitution and gambling, state media reported Tuesday.
The influx of people to the area has brought increased crime to the north face of Everest, and Chinese authorities last year pledged to boost the police presence following reports of thefts of food, oxygen tanks and climbing gear.