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Daily Archives: 10/07/2010

US, South Korean Diplomats Discuss Power Shift in North

US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell, right, speaks to the media after meeting with South Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Jae-shin, left, in Seoul, 7 Oct. 2010.


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October 07, 2010 (KATAKAMI) — A top-ranking U.S. diplomat says Washington and Seoul need to “remain in lockstep” to respond to any developments on the Korean peninsula. Kurt Campbell’s meetings with South Korean officials come as Pyongyang shows signs that preparations for a power transfer are under way.

Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell repeated the U.S. position that Pyongyang needs to improve relations with Seoul before international talks about dismantling North Korea’s nuclear weapons programs can resume.

“The first step, as we’ve said, has to be re-engagement between North Korea and South Korea, Campbell said. “I think we’re also looking for a clear and demonstrable commitment on the part of the North Koreans to fulfill their commitments that they have made on denuclearization in 2005.”

North Korea has recently suggested several levels of talks with South Korea.

Campbell spoke Thursday following talks with South Korean diplomats that he says focused on last week’s party congress in North Korea. The rare conference gave powerful posts to Kim Jong Un, the youngest son of absolute leader Kim Jong Il. The posts apparently are to prepare him to succeed his father.

Official North Korean media Thursday reported the younger Kim attended a concert with his father. It is the second reported public appearance this week for the young man, who until recently was almost never seen.

South Korea’s Unification Minister says the move toward a power succession in Pyongyang adds to uncertainties about what is happening in North Korea.

Earlier this week, a South Korean presidential security advisor termed the nuclear threat from the North to be at an “alarming level.”

Recent satellite photos suggest North Korea may be preparing to restore some operations at its Yongbyon nuclear complex.

The reactor, which produced weapons-grade plutonium, was shuttered three years ago under an international agreement. North Korea has since renounced the deal and threatened to resume operations. Last year, the reclusive impoverished country said its uranium enrichment experiments were in the final stages. Enriched uranium is used for weapons.

There have been on and off negotiations, involving both Koreas, China, the United States, Japan and Russia, since 2003 concerning the North’s nuclear weapons programs.

The two Koreas remain technically at war since their civil war halted in 1953 without a peace treaty.

Relations between the two governments have been tense for more than a year. They worsened further in late March when a South Korean naval vessel exploded and sank. An international investigation blamed a North Korean torpedo. Pyongyang denies any responsibility and rejects Seoul’s repeated demand it apologize for the sinking as a prelude to improving ties.

VOA

Photostream : Russian President Dmitry Medvedev meets Cypriot President Dimitris Christofias

Cypriot President Demetris Christofias (2nd L) walks with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev at the presidential palace in Nicosia October 7, 2010. (Getty Images)

Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev, left, looks on as Cypriot President Dimitris Christofias, second left, shakes hands with Russia Foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, right, after a review of the military guard of honor before their talks at Presidential palace in divided capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Thursday, Oct. 7, 2010. Medvedev is in Cyprus for a two-day official visit. (Getty Images)

Cyprus’ President Dimitris Christofias (R) welcomes his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev at the presidential palace in Nicosia October 7, 2010. Medvedev arrived in Cyprus on Thursday for a day long visit expected to highlight growing business ties with the Mediterranean island, already one of Russia’s most important investment partners. (Getty Images)

 

Cyprus‘ President Dimitris Christofias (R) meets his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev at the presidential palace in Nicosia October 7, 2010. Medvedev arrived in Cyprus on Thursday for a day long visit expected to highlight growing business ties with the Mediterranean island, already one of Russia’s most important investment partners. (Getty Images)

 

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PM David Cameron: ‘We’ll get through the cuts together’

Britain‘s Prime Minister David Cameron leaves with his wife Samantha (L) after delivering his keynote speech at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, central England October 6, 2010. (Getty Images)

 

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October 07, 2010 (KATAKAMI) — DAVID Cameron has issued a call to arms to the country to get behind the cuts and take an active part in the Big Society. Describing his party as “the true radicals”, he used his first conference speech as Prime Minister to appeal to people to get involved.
Invoking the spirit of Lord Kitchener’s famous First World War poster, Mr Cameron said: “Your country needs you.”

And with an eye to the bad news coming with the Comprehensive Spending Review to be published on 20 October, he appealed to “the spirit that will take us through” the hard times of the cuts.

He claimed his vision of a “Big Society” could see Britain through the turmoil of billions of cutbacks, and he told ordinary voters effectively that they needed to stop sitting at home expecting government to deliver, and instead “step up”.

In return, he promised to sweep away bureaucracy to allow a transfer of power from the state to society which, he claimed, would set the country on a fairer and more prosperous course in future.

And he regularly returned to the theme of “working together in the national interest”.

Although the speech was warmly applauded by an audience delighted to see their party back in government, it failed to win over some of the doubters.

Mr Cameron’s references to the Big Society were often met with silence, and afterwards some critics from the party were uncomplimentary on the internet.

Tim Montgomery, editor of the ConservativeHome website, described the speech as “forgettable” in his tweet on Twitter from the conference hall.

Mr Cameron’s speech rounded off a conference in Birmingham which has been dominated by Chancellor George Osborne’s announcement on Monday that child benefit was to be abolished for higher-rate taxpayers.

The PM told delegates that difficult decisions would have to be made on the deficit and he appealed for them to work “together for the national interest”.

In particular he tackled the issue of ending the universality of child benefit, which many party members saw as an attack on the family.

“But it’s fair that those with broader shoulders should bear a greater load.”

He promised that he would fulfil his former commitment of getting marriage recognised in the tax system, while hinting that defence cuts may not be as bad as expected.

He received his loudest cheers for traditional Tory lines of renewing Trident and persuading the Lib Dems to agree to a referendum lock to prevent any further transfer of powers to the European Union without a referendum.

But he also reminded dele-gates of the 4,757 days they were out of office from 1997 and joked about the headline which described the party as “a dead parrot” in its darkest days. “It turns out we really were only resting,” he added.

The Tory leader told activists unhappy with the Lib Dems that their mandate was not one to rule alone.

He said that a minority government “could have only limped along and achieved nothing” and that the election had given the two parties a mandate for change.

Although he failed to mention Scotland, the Prime Minister reaffirmed his commitment to the Union, while taking a moment furiously to attack the SNP for releasing the Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi.

“There are some red lines we must never cross,” he said. “Like the sight of the man responsible for the Lockerbie bombing, the biggest mass murderer in British history, set free to get a hero’s welcome in Tripoli.

“It was wrong, it undermined our standing in the world, and nothing like that must ever happen again.”

Mr Cameron only mentioned his main opponent, Labour leader Ed Miliband, once, in an unscripted joke.

But he consciously took on the challenge laid down by Mr Miliband in his conference speech in Manchester last week when he said that the Prime Minister had given up on optimism and was only about cuts.

Mr Cameron said that it was his party now that was about change and society.

He went on: “We are the radicals now, breaking apart the old system with a massive transfer for power, from the state to citizens, politicians to people, government to society.

“Let’s leave Labour defending the status quo, the vested interests, the unions, the quangocrats, the elites, the establishment.”

And in a sideswipe at Mr Miliband’s claim to represent a new generation, Mr Cameron introduced the conference to a 96-year-old Tory activist Harry Beckough. “I tell you something, this is a party for all the generations,” he said.

And he won applause with a tribute to party darling Margaret Thatcher as “the greatest peacetime prime minister of the 20th century”, and said he would be her host at a celebration of her 85th birthday next week.

Mr Cameron’s effort to set the painful programme of expenditure reduction in the context of his Big Society big idea failed to rouse the faithful.

( THE SCOTSMAN.COM )

Acting Moscow mayor to stay in post for next two years – paper

Acting Moscow Mayor Vladimir Resin


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October 07, 2010 (KATAKAMI) — Acting Moscow Mayor Vladimir Resin may stay in office for the next two years, a respected business daily said on Thursday, citing a number of sources.

Speculation that the acting mayor may remain in charge of the Russian capital increased after Resin, 74, joined the pro-Kremlin United Russia party on Wednesday.

Resin hinted to his close associates after a meeting with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Tuesday that he may continue to serve as Moscow mayor until 2013, a United Russia’s source told Vedomosti

But Resin told the daily newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda that his membership of the ruling party was not part of a bid to remain in office.

“No, no, no! It is completely unrelated to this,” Resin said, adding that “a person at least 20-25 years younger than me” should be mayor.

United Russia will present a list of candidates for Moscow mayor to President Dmitry Medvedev on Saturday. The party’s general committee will convene on Friday night or Saturday morning to agree a final list of three or four hopefuls.

Resin was appointed acting Moscow mayor after Yuri Luzhkov, who had headed Moscow since 1992, was fired by the Russian president last week after weeks of speculation that he would either step down or be sacked amid his worsening relations with the Kremlin.

Luzhkov left the United Russia party shortly after his dismissal.

 

MOSCOW, October 7 (RIA Novosti)

Photostream : British PM David Cameron and wife Samantha with their baby daughter Florence in Birmingham


British Prime Minister David Cameron and wife Samantha with their baby daughter Florence Rose Endellion at Birmingham Moor Station on October 5, 2010 in Birmingham, England. On the third day of the conference speakers are set to debate public services, crime and justice and poverty. (Getty Images)


Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron, left, arrives at his hotel with his wife Samantha and their few week old baby daughter Florence at the Conservative party conference in Birmingham, England, Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2010. The Conservative party is holding its annual conference at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham which runs until Wednesday. (Getty Images)


British Prime Minister David Cameron and wife Samantha with their baby daughter Florence Rose Endellion at Birmingham Moor Station on October 5, 2010 in Birmingham, England. On the third day of the conference speakers are set to debate public services, crime and justice and poverty. (Getty Images)

Photostream : Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard meets Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan


Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan (R) shakes hands with Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard during a bilateral meeting preceding a Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Brussels October 4, 2010. European and Asian leaders will try to narrow differences over representation on the IMF at talks intended to break down barriers between countries representing more than half the world’s population.  (Getty Images)


Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan (R) shakes hands with Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard during a bilateral meeting preceding a Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Brussels October 4, 2010. European and Asian leaders will try to narrow differences over representation on the IMF at talks intended to break down barriers between countries representing more than half the world’s population. (Getty Images)


Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan (R) shakes hands with Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard during a bilateral meeting preceding a Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Brussels October 4, 2010. European and Asian leaders will try to narrow differences over representation on the IMF at talks intended to break down barriers between countries representing more than half the world’s population.  (Getty Images)

Photostream : Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard in Afghanistan

Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard (R) and Chief of Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, visit the Multinational Base Tarin Kowt in southern Afghanistan October 3, 2010. Gillard made a surprise visit to Afghanistan, her first overseas trip as Prime Minister. (Getty Images)

Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard (R) and Chief of Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, visit the Multinational Base Tarin Kowt in southern Afghanistan October 3, 2010. Gillard made a surprise visit to Afghanistan, her first overseas trip as Prime Minister. (Getty Images)

Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard meets members of the Australian Army 1st Mentoring Task Force during her visit to Multinational Base Tarin Kowt in southern Afghanistan October 3, 2010. Gillard made a surprise visit to Afghanistan, her first overseas trip as Prime Minister. (Getty Images)


Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard in the cockpit of a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) C-130 Hercules aircraft on route to Afghanistan October 3, 2010. Gillard made a surprise visit to Afghanistan, her first overseas trip as Prime Minister. (Getty Images)