- Nicaraguan ships arrive in waters disputed by Colombia - Ortega
- Satellite photo shows increased activity at North Korean launch site
- Rice to discuss Libya with McCain, lawmakers this week - aides
Posted: 26 Nov 2012 07:55 PM PST
MANAGUA (Reuters) - Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said on Monday his country's ships already were exercising sovereignty over resource-rich Caribbean waters claimed by Colombia but granted to the Central American nation by an international court last week.
Ortega, however, added that he had been in touch with Colombia about implementing the International Court of Justice's (ICJ) ruling, which grants disputed islands to Colombia while offering rights to fishing and oil-rich waters to Nicaragua.
"At midnight on Sunday our ships sailed, they sailed to the recovered area, and by now they have established sovereignty in that whole territory," Ortega said in a message on television and radio.
The court ruled last Monday that the territorial waters extending out from the seven islets, which are nearer Nicaragua's coast than Colombia's, should not cut into Nicaragua's continental shelf. The ruling reduced the expanse of ocean belonging to Colombia.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, who partially rejected the judge's decision, ordered the Colombian navy to remain in the area granted to Managua until the ICJ has ruled on an appeal that Santos said he would bring before the court.
In 2007, the court, which is based in The Hague, ruled in a long-running dispute between the two countries that the three larger islands of San Andres, Providencia and Santa Catalina belonged to Colombia.
The ruling last week related to seven other islets and the associated offshore rights surrounding them. The three larger islands have been controlled by Colombia since Nicaragua ceded them in a 1928 treaty.
Copyright © 2012 Reuters
Posted: 26 Nov 2012 07:35 PM PST
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A new satellite image shows a marked increase in activity at a North Korean missile launch site, pointing to a possible long-range ballistic missile test by Pyongyang in the next three weeks, according to satellite operator DigitalGlobe Inc.
The imagery was released days after a Japanese newspaper, the Asahi Shimbun, reported that U.S. intelligence analysts had detected moves that were seen as preparation by North Korea for a long-range missile launch as early as this month.
DigitalGlobe, which provides commercial satellite imagery to the U.S. government and foreign governments, on Monday released a new image that it said showed increased activity at North Korea's Sohae (West Sea) Satellite Launch Station.
It said the imagery showed more people, trucks and other equipment at the site, a level of activity that was consistent with preparations seen before North Korea's failed April 13 rocket launch.
"Given the observed level of activity noted of a new tent, trucks, people and numerous portable fuel/oxidizer tanks, should North Korea desire, it could possibly conduct its fifth satellite launch event during the next three weeks," DigitalGlobe said in a statement accompanying the image.
A Pentagon spokeswoman declined to comment on the reported satellite images, but said the Defense Department's position on North Korea's missile development efforts had not changed.
She urged North Korea to comply with U.N. Security Council resolutions that "require Pyongyang to suspend all activities related to its ballistic missile program in a complete, verifiable, and irreversible manner, and re-establish its moratorium on missile launching."
North Korea, which carried out nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009 and is under heavy U.N. sanctions for its atomic weapons program, has tried for years to influence major events in South Korea by waging propaganda or armed attacks. South Korea is gearing up for a presidential election on December 19.
North and South Korea have been technically at war since their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty, and regional powers have for years been trying to rein in the North's nuclear program.
North Korea is believed to be developing a long-range ballistic missile with a range of up to 4,200 miles (6,700 km) aimed at hitting the continental United States but the last two rocket test launches failed.
In April, under its new leader Kim Jong-un, North Korea launched a rocket that flew just a few minutes covering a little over 60 miles (100 km) before crashing into the sea between South Korea and China.
(Reporting By Andrea Shalal-Esa; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Mohammad Zargham)
Copyright © 2012 Reuters
Posted: 26 Nov 2012 06:34 PM PST
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice will meet with lawmakers this week to discuss her controversial remarks about the September attack in Benghazi, Libya, that have caused hurdles for her potential promotion to secretary of state.
The move, announced shortly after a top critic said he would be open to speaking to her, could fuel speculation that she is gunning for the nation's top diplomatic job.
Republicans have attacked Rice for appearing on TV talks shows shortly after the September 11 attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi and saying that preliminary information suggested the assault was the result of protests over an anti-Muslim film rather than a premeditated attack.
Senator John McCain, a vocal opponent of Rice's possible nomination as secretary of state, said on Sunday he would be happy to meet with her about the issue.
A Senate aide said that Rice would meet with McCain as well as Senators Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte, fellow Republicans who have also criticized Rice.
An Obama administration official said Rice and Michael Morell, CIA's acting director, would meet with officials on Capitol Hill but declined to give details about timing.
"She and Mike Morell are meeting with folks on the Hill about Libya this week," the official said.
Rice said last week that her comments about the attack were based squarely on information provided to her by the intelligence community. The presence of Morell in the meetings is likely meant to give weight to that assertion.
President Barack Obama's nominee for the position must be confirmed by the Senate to take the job. Democrats have a majority in the Senate, but Republicans could block his choice.
The U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three other Americans were killed in the attack.
Rice will meet another Republican Senator, Susan Collins, later in the week. A Senate aide said the meeting was arranged at Rice's request. Collins is the ranking Republican on the Senate Homeland Security Committee, which is one of several committees probing the events in Benghazi.
Rice will also meet Senator Joe Lieberman, an independent who chairs the committee, according to a Senate aide.
Rice is considered a top contender to replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is expected to step down at the end of Obama's first term.
Obama has not said who he wants to nominate for the post, but he bristled this month over Republican criticism of Rice, saying at a news conference that the senators should "go after" him rather than her. White House officials are fond of Rice and she is close to the president.
Senator John Kerry is also considered to be in the running to take over as the top U.S. diplomat.
(Editing by Eric Walsh and Mohammad Zargham)
Copyright © 2012 Reuters
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