NORTH KOREAN OFFICIAL OPEN TO RESUMED TALKS
BEIJING (AP) -- North Korea's No. 2 leader has told China that his country still regards six-nation talks on the dispute over its nuclear program as the best way to reach a solution, a Chinese spokeswoman said today.
Chinese leaders were lobbying Kim Yong Nam, who arrived Monday in Beijing on an official visit, to restart stalled talks on U.S. demands for North Korea to give up its nuclear ambitions. Participants missed a September deadline for a new round of six-party talks because North Korea refused to take part.
Monday, Kim met his Chinese counterpart, Wu Bangguo, who told him that a settlement of the dispute was the "common wish" of the international community.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said Kim responded that "the position of (North Korea) concerning the six-party talks is unchanged -- that is, to solve the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula through the six-party talks" with the United States, Russia, South Korea, China and Japan.
URANIUM ENRICHMENT IS NON-NEGOTIABLE ISSUE
TEHRAN, IRAN (AP) -- Iran said Monday it is prepared to temporarily suspend some nuclear activities but would not surrender its right to enrich uranium.
The remarks by the country's top nuclear negotiator, Hasan Rowhani, came just as the three major European powers were expected to offer Iran a package of economic incentives in hopes of persuading Iran to abandon uranium enrichment, a process that can be used to produce fuel for nuclear weapons and reactors.
The move by Britain, France and Germany, expected this week, is designed to head off a confrontation between Iran and the U.N. nuclear agency, where the United States has been arguing that Iran plans to build atomic weapons.
"From a tactical point of view, discussion on how long to continue suspension (of some nuclear activities) is negotiable," Rowhani told state television Monday.
"But if the discussion is about depriving us of our legitimate right (to manage the cycle of nuclear fuel), it's not negotiable. Our negotiating team is not authorized to discuss this either with Europeans or others."
Iran says its nuclear program is for electricity generation.
WIND GUST LEADS TO DEATH OF KITE SURFER FROM N.Y.
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND (AP) -- A 31-year-old winemaker from Geneva, N.Y., became the country's first kite-surfing fatality over the weekend, police said.
Douglas Wiser was killed Saturday after a strong wind gust hit his kite, dragging him 100 yards from the sea and slamming him against a recreational vehicle.
Witnesses said Wiser was about to release his kite harness when the wind suddenly dragged him across a beach and smashed him through the limbs of a tree at Te Awanga, a small settlement on North Island's east coast.
Locals suggested Wiser might not have had time to use a safety button that releases the kite.
REGIME DENIES LETTING ARISTIDE INCITE VIOLENCE
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA (AP) -- The government lashed out Monday at Haiti's interim prime minister, denying allegations that South African President Thabo Mbeki has allowed Haiti's ousted president to coordinate violence in the Caribbean country from his refuge here.
Calling the accusations baseless, Deputy Minister Aziz Pahad said South Africa "rejects with contempt the attack on the integrity of President Mbeki and dismisses the insinuation that its territory is being used as a springboard by exiled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to destabilize Haiti through violent means.
Haitian Prime Minister Gerard Latortue told reporters Sunday that Mbeki was "taking a big risk" in sheltering Aristide, who he called a "symbol of violence."