Sat | Jan 19, 2019

More International news in brief

Published:Monday | November 10, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Kenneth Bae, left, who had been held in North Korea since 2012, hugs his mother Myunghee Bae after arriving, Saturday at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington

Last US captives in North Korea return home

Washington (AP): The last two Americans being held captive by North Korea have returned home.

Kenneth Bae and Matthew Miller landed Saturday night at a Washington state military base after their departure from the reclusive communist country was secured through a secret mission by the top United States intelligence official.

Bae, surrounded by family members, spoke briefly to the media after the plane carrying him and Miller landed about 9 p.m.

"I just want to say thank you all for supporting me and standing by me," he said.

He thanked President Barack Obama and the many people who supported him and his family. He also thanked the North Korean government for releasing him.

Bomb kills one in Afghan police headquarters

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP): Afghan authorities are investigating how a man wearing an explosives-packed vest was able to infiltrate the heavily guarded police headquarters in central Kabul yesterday and attempt to assassinate the city's chief of police.

The suicide bomber's ability to pass through heavy security and make his way to within meters of Gen. Mohammad Zahir Zahir's office has revived concerns that insurgents have penetrated Afghanistan's security and intelligence forces.

The incident was a serious breach of security in the fortified center of the capital and has highlighted the vulnerability of Kabul to a determined and still-virulent Taliban insurgency as a dwindling number of US and NATO troops shift from a combat role to training and support by the end of this year.

Sediq Sediqqi, spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said the incident had raised questions about someone "wearing a suicide vest had breached security".

"The man was wearing a civilian suit and had a file in his hand and the suicide vest under his clothes," said Sediqqi.

Indications of China-Japan summit mounting

BEIJING (AP): Will they or won't they? Whether leaders of feuding China and Japan will meet during the Asia-Pacific summit has prompted much speculation. It's the most - but not the only - awkward relationship testing the hospitality of an increasingly assertive Beijing.

There were mounting indications that Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe would hold some kind of tête-à-tête, however brief and unsubstantial, during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit today and tomorrow.

On Friday, China and Japan reached agreement to ramp up high-level contacts, more than two years after Beijing froze them amid a dispute over islands in the East China Sea and other contentious issues. The thaw came at a time when the relations need a nudge to get back on track, and the APEC gathering of 21 economies around the Pacific Rim, including the US, Australia, Mexico and South Korea, provides excellent cover to do so.

"Until now the door was closed, unfortunately, but this agreement has achieved a momentum," Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on BS Fuji television.

The summit is the highest-level international gathering Xi has hosted since taking leadership of the ruling Communist Party two years ago. Yet, awkwardly, APEC also includes many countries that Beijing has alienated over the past year or more.