News Wrap: U.S. Downplays North Korean Nuclear Facility Reports
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WAME HOLMAN: U.S. officials played down reports of a new highly sophisticated uranium enrichment facility in North Korea. A visiting American nuclear scientist recently was shown the once hidden site at the north main nuclear complex in Yongbyon. Today, the U.S. special envoy for North Korea, Stephen Bosworth, met with South Korean officials and said he was disappointed, but not surprised at the revelation, and he hoped disarmament talks could be resuscitated.
STEPHEN BOSWORTH, U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Policy: I do not believe in engagement just for the sake of engagement or talking just for the sake of talking. We have to begin to make progress. And it is fundamental that the North Koreans demonstrate that they approach the dialogue and the discussions and the negotiations with that same measure of seriousness and willingness to actually take hard decisions.
KWAME HOLMAN: North Korea claims it has installed 2,000 centrifuges inside the new facility. U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned that could help the regime build a number of nuclear devices.
More than 330 people died in a surging crowd in Cambodia, according to the country’s prime minister. More than two million people were in Phnom Penh for a three-day water festival marking the end of the rainy season. In the crush of people, some panicked, and the stampede ensued. Hundreds more were injured.
NATO reported the deaths of two more service members in Afghanistan. They were killed in a bombing in the south. There was no immediate word on their nationalities. At least 45 NATO soldiers have died in the country so far this month. Thirty-eight of those deaths were American.
One of the world’s most wanted Nazi suspects has died in Germany before facing trial. Samuel Kunz was under indictment on allegations he participated in the killing of more than 400,000 Jews at a concentration camp in occupied Poland during World War II.
The German court overseeing the case announced today that he died last Thursday at the age of 89. The case against Kunz only came to light as prosecutors prepared for another case against the retired autoworker from Ohio John Demjanjuk.
Stocks on Wall Street ended the day slightly lower. They managed to pare back earlier losses from worries about Europe’s financial crisis and a widening federal probe into insider trading. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 25 points to close at 11178. The Nasdaq rose nearly 14 points to close at 2532.
Those are some of the day’s major stories—now back to Jeff.