Briefs

By Ap | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), March 11, 1996 | Go to article overview

Briefs


Ap, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


PAKISTAN

Bhutto Seeks To Calm Fear Of Arms Race With India

Pakistan will conduct a nuclear test and develop atomic weapons only if its survival is directly threatened, Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto said Sunday.

Despite an increase in tension with neighboring India, Bhutto said the worsening relations would not trigger a nuclear arms race in southern Asia.

"We have a clear policy about our peaceful nuclear program and will stick to it unless threatened," Bhutto was quoted as saying by state-run media. "Presently we don't feel there is any threat to Pakistan's security."

She was responding to a Washington Post article reporting Pakistan's alleged preparations to conduct an underground nuclear explosion. U.S. intelligence officials fear Pakistan may detonate a nuclear test device if India follows through with a test of its own, which is suspected. AP - IRAN Both Sides Report Gains In Parliamentary Elections

Both supporters and opponents of Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani claimed Sunday they had made gains in parliamentary elections.

The election Friday was largely a battle between supporters of Rafsanjani's efforts to revitalize the economy by cutting subsidies and state ownership, and critics who object to the resulting hardship for the Iranian people.

There are no parties in Iran's complex political system, although the two principal factions did issue lists of candidates they supported. But some candidates appeared on both lists, making it difficult to gauge their loyalties.

The elections for all 270 seats in the Majlis, or parliament, reflected no fundamental conflict over the nature of the Iranian system. Both key factions support the tenets of the Islamic revolution led by the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

AP

SOUTH KOREA

Ex-Presidents On Trial In Connection With Coup

Former Presidents Chun Doo-hwan and Roh Tae-woo, military friends who successively ruled South Korea from 1980 to 1993, went on trial in Seoul today in connection with their bloody seizure of power.

The two former generals are accused of masterminding the coup in 1979 and a bloody military crackdown several months later that killed 240 pro-democracy protesters in the southern city of Kwangju.

Their trial on mutiny and treason charges is part of President Kim Young-sam's attempt to come to terms with South Korea's recent history of corruption, coups and harsh authoritarian rule. If convicted, they face the death penalty, although execution is unlikely. They also face at least 10 years in prison on bribery charges. …

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