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Powell rejects S. Korean official's call for a Nixon-like initiative

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 29, 2003


WASHINGTON -- President Richard Nixon's dramatic opening to China three decades ago could serve as a model for a similar initiative by the Bush administration with North Korea, South Korea's top diplomat said Friday.

Secretary of State Colin Powell rejected the proposal and insisted North Korea must make a number of moves toward disarmament before the United States would consider serious engagement.

Powell spent 75 minutes conferring with Foreign Minister Yoon Young Kahn, who took office last month with the installation of President Roh Moo Hyun. Roh is expected to visit Washington in May to meet with President Bush.

Powell believes any substantive U.S. contact with North Korea should involve a number of countries from the Asian and Pacific region, including South Korea, Japan, China and Russia.

Yoon, speaking at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, urged direct U.S.-North Korean talks, using as a precedent Nixon's groundbreaking visit to China in 1972. Nixon's initiative ended more than 20 years of U.S. estrangement from China.

Former Serb leader's body found after 2 1/2 years

BELGRADE, Serbia-Montenegro -- Police found the remains of a former Serbian president and blamed the killing Friday on the same elite police unit suspected in the assassination of Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic.

The body of Ivan Stambolic, who was last seen jogging in a Belgrade park on Aug. 25, 2000, was discovered Thursday in a lime-covered pit on a northern Serbian mountain, Interior Minister Dusan Mihajlovic said. Stambolic had been shot twice.

Police said they want to question Slobodan Milosevic, the former Yugoslav strongman on trial for war crimes. They also want to question Milosevic's wife, Mirjana Markovic. A police source said they were searching for her, suggesting she was on the run.

Fujimori shrugs off most-wanted inclusion

TOKYO -- Peru's former President Alberto Fujimori shrugged off Interpol's notice for his arrest on murder and kidnapping charges and pledged to supporters back home Friday that he will return some day.

"My intention to return remains strong," Fujimori said. "I don't know when."

Fujimori -- who as president gave the army sweeping powers in a successful campaign against Maoist guerrillas -- faces murder charges for allegedly authorizing massacres of suspected rebel sympathizers in the 1990s. Interpol, the world's largest police organization, put him on its most-wanted list this week.

Elsewhere . . .

MARCOS' JEWELRY TO BE AUCTIONED: Two jewelry collections belonging to Imelda Marcos and once valued at up to $20-million will be auctioned off by the Philippine government this year, an official said Friday.

The government will auction the jewelry through Sotheby's of London and Christie's of New York, said Grace Tan, a member of the Presidential Commission on Good Government. Proceeds will fund the government's land-reform program.

EX-CHINESE PRISONER FLOWN TO UNITED STATES: A Tibetan nun, China's longest-serving female political prisoner, was allowed to leave for the United States Friday, a U.S. activist said.

Ngawang Sangdrol flew to the United States accompanied by a U.S. diplomat, said John Kamm, president of the Dui Hua Foundation in San Francisco.

Imprisoned as a 15-year-old in 1992 for taking part in demonstrations against Chinese rule in Tibet, she was paroled in October.

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