North Korea accused the United States on Friday of being “hell-bent on regime change” and warned that any maneuvers with that intention will be viewed as a “red line” that will result in countermeasures.
Pyongyang’s deputy U.N. ambassador Ri Tong Il also repeated that his government “made it very clear we will carry out a new form of nuclear test” but refused to elaborate, saying only that “I recommend you to wait and see what it is.”
His comments came at North Korea’s second news conference at the United Nations in two weeks, a surprising rate for the reclusive communist regime.
Ri blamed the United States for aggravating tensions on the Korean Peninsula by continuing “very dangerous” military drills with South Korea, by pursuing action in the U.N. Security Council against his country’s recent ballistic missile launches and by criticizing Pyongyang’s human rights performance.
A U.S. diplomat who was not authorized to comment publicly responded, “We have long made clear — in close consultation with our allies — that we are open to improved relations with [North Korea] if it is willing to take clear actions to live up to its international obligations and commitments.”
— Associated Press
An Indian court sentenced to death three men who raped a photojournalist inside an abandoned textile mill last year in Mumbai, India’s biggest city.
A fourth defendant was sentenced to life in prison, prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said. He said he asked for the death sentence under a strict anti-rape law introduced after public outrage over a fatal gang rape in New Delhi in 2012.
“This is the first case in India in which the death penalty has been given to convicts while the victim is alive,” Nikam said.
The three men were also found guilty last month of raping a call-center operator at the same abandoned mill in July 2013, a month before the attack on the photojournalist. Nikam described the three as habitual offenders.
India increased penalties for sex crimes and moved rape trials faster through its notoriously slow justice system after a 23-year-old medical student died after being gang-raped on a moving bus in the capital. Four men were sentenced to death in the New Delhi case. The trials in New Delhi and Mumbai cases were completed within seven months.
— Associated Press
Chilean officials said Friday that water, fuel, electricity and other essential services are being reestablished three days after a powerful magnitude-8.2 earthquake rattled the country’s far northern regions. But poor people living in damaged homes, shantytowns and tents were still suffering from the effects of the disaster in some places, and the hypothermia death of a newborn raised the quake’s toll to seven.
The government also issued a three-month health alert for the quake-hit regions. It grants officials more resources to avoid the spread of infectious diseases by coping with trash and contaminated water from rotting fish in port cities.
Water, power and other basic services had yet to return to Alto Hospicio, a poor area in the hills above Iquique that was one of the worst-hit. Police reported that a 6-day-old baby died here of hypothermia Friday afternoon, the quake’s seventh victim.
— Associated Press
Chad withdrawing troops from Central African Republic: Chad began withdrawing its troops from Central African Republic’s peacekeeping mission Friday as a U.N. report accused its soldiers of killing 30 civilians and wounding 300 in an attack on a crowded market last week. Chad’s Foreign Minister Moussa Faki Mahamat denied the allegation, saying the troops had been ambushed by Christian “anti-balaka” militia and had responded. A series of violent incidents involving Chadian troops has stoked fury in the former French colony, culminating in Chad’s decision Thursday to withdraw its troops from the African Union peacekeeping force known as MISCA.
Judge orders end to bid to revive Mexicana Airlines: A Mexican judge ordered an end to efforts to revive Mexicana Airlines through bankruptcy proceedings, saying no credible investor has expressed interest. Mexicana was among the world’s oldest continuously operating airlines when it shut down in 2010.
— From news services