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North Korean, U.N. officials to hold talks on sinking of South Korean warship

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

NORTH KOREA

Military cancels talks on sinking of warship

North Korea's military abruptly canceled a rare meeting Tuesday with the U.S.-led United Nations Command that had been arranged to discuss the deadly sinking of a South Korean warship.

The meeting, proposed last week by North Korea, had been scheduled for Panmunjom, a village in the demilitarized zone that separates North and South Korea.

It would have been the first such military meeting since the March 26 sinking of the Cheonan, which killed 46 South Korean sailors and sharply raised tensions on the divided Korean Peninsula.

But the North requested a delay in the talks for "administrative reasons," the U.N. Command said in a statement. A new meeting time was not immediately proposed, it said.

North Korea has denied any involvement in the sinking of the warship, even though an international investigation blamed a North Korean torpedo for the explosion.

-- Associated Press

FRANCE

Amid accusations, Sarkozy seeks reform

President Nicolas Sarkozy, combating allegations of influence-peddling in the French government, said Monday he will seek new laws to guarantee against conflict of interest by ministers, members of Parliament and other senior officials.

Sarkozy, in a special television interview, said he also will urge Labor Minister Eric Woerth, who is at the center of the accusations, to abandon his post as chief fund-raiser for Sarkozy's political party while he serves as a government minister.


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