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Obama due in Seoul amid grief over ferry disaster, concern about N.K. nuclear test

By Chang Jae-soon SEOUL, April 25 (Yonhap) -- U.S. President Barack Obama was due in South Korea on Friday for talks with President Park Geun-hye as the Asian ally grieves over the deadly sinking of a ferry while on the lookout for a possible nuclear test by North Korea.

Obama due in Seoul amid grief over ferry disaster, concern about N.K. nuclear test

By Chang Jae-soon SEOUL, April 25 (Yonhap) -- U.S. President Barack Obama was due in South Korea on Friday for talks with President Park Geun-hye as the Asian ally grieves over the deadly sinking of a ferry while on the lookout for a possible nuclear test by North Korea.

N. Korea 'probably' preparing nuclear test: US think-tank

North Korea appears to be making preparations to conduct its fourth nuclear test, a US think-tank said Friday just hours before President Barack Obama arrives in South Korea for a visit. New satellite images, taken just two days ago, showed additional activity at the Punggye-ri test site that is "probably related to preparations for a detonation," the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University said. The report echoed recent warnings from South Korea that the North might be planning a test to coincide with Obama's two-day visit.

US 'troubled' by arrest of Azerbaijan journalist

The United States said Thursday it was concerned by the arrest of a prominent journalist in Azerbaijan who has been charged with spying for Armenia. "We are following the reports of Rauf Mirkadyrov, his deportation from Turkey and arrest in Azerbaijan, closely," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. Azerbaijan's prosecutor general's office said in a statement Monday that Mirkadyrov had been charged with high treason after he "was recruited by the Armenian secret services in 2008 and supplied Yerevan with information on Azerbaijan's state secrets."

Obama due in Seoul amid grief over ferry disaster, concern about N.K. nuclear test

By Chang Jae-soon SEOUL, April 25 (Yonhap) -- U.S. President Barack Obama was due in South Korea on Friday for talks with President Park Geun-hye as the Asian ally grieves over the deadly sinking of a ferry while on the lookout for a possible nuclear test by North Korea..

Obama faces emotional trip to South Korea

US President Barack Obama will encounter a nation mourning one of its worst maritime disasters and on edge over North Korea's nuclear brinkmanship Friday when he flies to South Korea. The trip to Seoul was once billed as a routine, informal stop to catch up with old friends, but took on poignant overtones after the sinking of a ferry packed with high school students last week.

Campaigners say protected birds in danger in Malta

Campaigners on Thursday said protected migratory birds were being shot in Malta and called for an exemption from EU hunting rules for the island state to be scrapped. The Committee Against Bird Slaughter's general secretary Alexander Heyd said only "a small percentage" of illegal activities by hunters were actually being documented. "Our teams can only monitor a small part of the island" during the spring hunting season, he said. A video from the group on YouTube shows two kestrels and two marsh harriers being targeted by hunters.

UK nurse leaves Sri Lanka after tattoo jail ordeal

A British nurse jailed in Sri Lanka for sporting a Buddha tattoo left the country Thursday after suffering what she says was sexual and other harassment by prison officers. Naomi Coleman said she was exhausted but relieved to be heading home after she was arrested at the main international airport on Monday and sent to a jail and a deportation centre. The 37-year-old had been planning a holiday on the majority Buddhist island when she was detained over the tattoo on her upper right arm which Sri Lankan authorities found offensive.

China warns against 'chaos' over anticipated N. Korean nuclear test

BEIJING, April 24 (Yonhap) -- China said Thursday it will not permit chaos on its doorstep, in another thinly veiled warning to its wayward ally North Korea amid indications that the North is technically ready to conduct a fresh nuclear test. "Peace and stability is in the immediate interests of China. We will by no means allow war or chaos to occur on our doorstep," China's foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters, when asked about the possibility of a fourth nuclear test by North Korea.

N. Korea seals nuclear test tunnel: Seoul official

North Korea has apparently sealed a tunnel at its nuclear test site, a government official said Thursday ahead of US President Barack Obama's arrival in Seoul for a two-day visit. South Korea's defence ministry warned earlier this week that the North could be preparing to carry out a fourth nuclear test, citing increased activity at the Punggye-ri site. "It is believed that North Korea has placed detonator, fissile material and measurement devices in the tunnel and sealed it," the official, who declined to be identified, said Thursday in a briefing for foreign news media.
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