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Pak distances itself from N. Korean
N-programme
Islamabad, October 9
Pakistan today distanced itself from North Korea’s nuclear programme, saying there was “absolutely no link” between its disgraced scientist A.Q. Khan, who had confessed to have sold nuclear technology to the Stalinist regime, and the nuclear test conducted by Pyongyang.

N-test conducted in mountain tunnel?
Seoul, October 9
The test which made Stalinist North Korea the eighth declared member of the world’s nuclear club is thought to have been conducted in a horizontal tunnel dug deep inside a mountain on its northeast coast.

South Korean nominated UN Secretary-General
United Nations, October 9
South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon was formally nominated as the UN Secretary-General today, only hours after North Korea defied the world body by conducting a nuclear test.



EARLIER STORIES


Quake in Pak; 3 injured
Islamabad, October 9
A magnitude 4.6 earthquake was felt in southwestern Pakistan today and at least three persons were injured by falling debris, an official said.

American Phelps wins economics Nobel
Stockholm, October 9
American Edmund S. Phelps won the 2006 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences today for his analysis of short-run and long-run trade offs in macroeconomic policy.

A protester is restrained by police officers during a demonstration in Parliament Square, London A protester is restrained by police officers during a demonstration in Parliament Square, London on Monday. The protest was timed to disrupt members of parliament as they returned to their parliamentary offices for the first working day after the summer recess. — Reuters






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Pak distances itself from N. Korean N-programme

Islamabad, October 9
Pakistan today distanced itself from North Korea’s nuclear programme, saying there was “absolutely no link” between its disgraced scientist A.Q. Khan, who had confessed to have sold nuclear technology to the Stalinist regime, and the nuclear test conducted by Pyongyang.

“Pakistan deplores the announcement by Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea that it conducted a nuclear test. In our view this is a destabilising development in the region,” Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said.

“We have urged DPRK to desist from introducing nuclear weapons in the Korean peninsula. It is regrettable that DPRK chose to ignore the advise of the international community not to test a nuclear weapons device,” she told reporters here.

Mr Aslam, however, was quick to deny links between Pakistan’s nuclear programme and that of North Korea, though Khan, currently under house detention here, had publicly confessed in 2003 that he aided North Korean programme.

“There is absolutely no link between the nuclear test conducted by North Korea and what might have gone on (between) Dr A.Q. Khan and the North Korean government. North Korea’s nuclear programme is plutonium-based and Pakistan’s programme is mainly Uranium based.

There are speculations that the plutonium was diverted from North Korean nuclear facility,” she claimed.

President Pervez Musharraf in his memoirs published last month said that Khan had transferred nearly two dozen centrifuges to North Korea. This was in return for Pyongyang providing its missile technology, which reportedly forms the base for Pakistan’s nuclear-capable missiles. — PTI

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N-test conducted in mountain tunnel?

Seoul, October 9
The test which made Stalinist North Korea the eighth declared member of the world’s nuclear club is thought to have been conducted in a horizontal tunnel dug deep inside a mountain on its northeast coast.

The first scientists knew of it was when they detected seismic waves caused by an artificial explosion, but there was no immediate report of radioactivity.

Intelligence officials told South Korea’s parliament the test appeared to have been carried out in a 360-metre-high mountain northwest of the Musudan missile base in the Hwadaeri region, according to lawmaker Chung Hyong-Keun.

He quoted an intelligence official as saying, “In consideration of the height of the mountain, the test appeared to have been done in a horizontal tunnel.” The North’s official media said it had successfully conducted an underground nuclear test under secure conditions, with no radiation leak.

“It has been confirmed that there was no such danger from radioactive emission in the course of the nuclear test, as it was carried out under scientific consideration and careful calculation,” the Korean Central News Agency said.

“The nuclear Test was conducted with indigenous wisdom and technology, 100 per cent.”

Seoul officials said the test was detected through seismic waves coming from the Hwadaeri region near the town of Kilju in North Hamgyong Province at 10:36 am (0716 IST).

Chi Heon-Cheol, head of the Korea Earthquake Research Centre, said the seismic activity took place 15.4 km northwest of Hwadaeri.

“The peculiarity of the seismic waves indicated there was an artificial explosion, not a natural earthquake,” Chi told journalists. — AFP

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South Korean nominated UN Secretary-General

United Nations, October 9
South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon was formally nominated as the UN Secretary-General today, only hours after North Korea defied the world body by conducting a nuclear test.

The UN Security Council voted by acclamation behind closed doors, thereby effectively selecting Mr Ban as the successor to Secretary-General Kofi Annan, whose 10 years in office expire on December 31. Mr Ban’s six rivals had withdrawn from the race earlier.

The 192-member UN General Assembly must give final approval to Mr Ban’s nomination, which usually follows within a week or two. That vote is expected to be positive.

Shortly after the vote for Mr Ban, the 15 Security Council ambassadors went into closed consultations on North Korea to see what action could be taken after the country reported conducting a successful nuclear weapon test.

The council on Friday had urged North Korea not to carry out the test, warning Pyongyang of unspecified consequences if it did.

“I think the fact the candidate is the current foreign minister of the Republic of Korea is an asset in dealing with the situation in the Korean peninsula that we are now facing,” Japan’s UN Ambassador Kenzo Oshima told reporters.

“We have a very good candidate,” said Mr Oshima, this month’s council president. “It was the collective decision of the Security Council to recommend Mr Ban Ki-moon to the General Assembly.”

Some diplomats, including Mr Oshima, have speculated that North Korea’s announcement on October 3 of plans to carry out the underground nuclear test was timed, in part, to coincide with Mr Ban’s candidacy in an effort to get world attention.

Mr Ban, 62, would be the eighth secretary-general in the world body’s 60-year history. He will inherit a bureaucracy of 9,000 staff, a five-billion-dollar budget and more than 90,000 peacekeepers in 18 operations around the globe that cost another five billion dollars. — Reuters

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Quake in Pak; 3 injured

Islamabad, October 9
A magnitude 4.6 earthquake was felt in southwestern Pakistan today and at least three persons were injured by falling debris, an official said.

The moderate strength quake hit at 10:43 am IST in Baluchistan, some 550 km southwest of the city of Peshawar, said Mr Mohammed Akram from the state-run Seismological Centre.

The earthquake was felt in the southwestern town of Chaman, near the Afghan border, Mr Akram said.

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American Phelps wins economics Nobel

Stockholm, October 9
American Edmund S. Phelps won the 2006 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences today for his analysis of short-run and long-run trade offs in macroeconomic policy. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said his work had “deepened our understanding of the relation between short-run and long-run effects of economic policy.

The 73-year-old Columbia University professor showed how low inflation today lead to expectations of low inflation in the future. — AP

 

 

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