World News Brief, Friday June 7

North and South Korea agree to meet; radioactive leak discovered in Fukushima Plant; Karzai invites new Pakistan PM to Afghanistan; IMF admits mistakesin Greece bailout; and more

Top of the Agenda: Koreas Agree on Talks

South Korean officials will meet their North Korean counterparts next week after Seoul extended an invitation to hold talks on restoring the jointly-run Kaesong factory park (Yonhap), a project largely financed by the South to increase cooperation and a key source of revenue for the North. The discussions mark the Koreas' first government-level negotiations since South Korean President Park Geun-hye took office in February, and a thawing of diplomatic relations (BBC) since North Korea pulled out its workers in April after regional relations deteriorated in the wake of its February nuclear test. The agreement comes a day before a U.S.-China meeting in which North Korea is expected to be a key topic.


"China is taking a tougher stance on North Korea, as the U.S. hoped it would. It has supported tighter U.N. sanctions in response to the February nuclear test and stepped up border inspections. Most notably, a leading Chinese state bank shut accounts of North Korea's Foreign Trade Bank, its main foreign exchange institution," writes Matthew Pennington for the AP.

"Xi also plans to meet with South Korean President Park Geun-hye in June. Having North Korea express positive signs about rejoining the Six-Party talks, which it had long rejected, can be considered a major achievement for China," write Atsushi Okudera and Akira Nakano for Asahi Shimbun.

"Pyongyang had previously rejected Seoul's calls for discussions on the zone. Thursday's statement from the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea in Pyongyang also proposed talks on resuming cross-border tours, suspended since 2008, and restarting family reunions," writes Tania Branigan for The Guardian.



Radioactive Water Leak in Fukushima Plant

A worker from Tepco, the operator of the Fukushima nuclear plant that was damaged by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011, discovered a leak (BBC) of radioactive water in one of the plant's storage containers Wednesday. A leak was previously discovered in an underground storage pit by the plant in April.


Karzai invites new Pakistan PM to Afghanistan

IMF admits mistakes in Greece bailout


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