North Korea

Asia news in brief - September 2, 2012

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 02 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 02 September, 2012, 4:41am


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Japanese out in force for disaster prevention

TOKYO - Japan conducted a national earthquake drill yesterday after the government unveiled a worst-case disaster scenario which warned that a monster jolt in the Pacific Ocean could kill over 320,000 people. Police suspended traffic at some 120 points in central Tokyo to spare lanes for emergency and military vehicles while passengers were guided to safe zones from train stations in a simulation of a post-quake scenario. Throughout Japan, about 387,000 people were scheduled to take part in the drills. Disaster Prevention Day is an annual exercise to train for a potentially deadly magnitude-7.3 quake scenario in Tokyo. It commemorates the anniversary of the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake, which killed more than 100,000. AFP


Seven Shiites shot dead in Pakistani province

QUETTA - Gunmen shot dead seven Shiite Muslims in two separate incidents in Pakistan's troubled southwestern province of Baluchistan, police said. The incidents took place near Quetta, the capital of the province. "Four gunmen riding two motorbikes intercepted a bus near the Hazarganji area, pulled five Shiite vegetable sellers off the vehicle and shot them dead," said senior local police official Wazir Khan Nasir. He said in a second incident, two motorbike riders sprayed bullets at two Shiites, also in the Hazarganji district, killing both of them. AFP


Indonesia holds asylum seekers from Sri Lanka

JAKARTA - Indonesian police are holding 50 Sri Lankan asylum seekers in custody two days after they were found stranded and starving in a boat drifting off Sumatra, a rescue official said. Fishermen found the asylum seekers, who were trying to reach Australia, on Thursday on a boat with a broken engine. The boat was found drifting near the Mentawai islands, a popular surfing destination about 100 kilometres from the western coast of Sumatra. It had left Sri Lanka more than two weeks earlier, a local rescue official said, and its engine had broken down nine days before it was discovered by the fishermen. AFP


North Korea and Iran agree co-operation

TEHRAN - North Korea and Iran have signed a scientific and technological co-operation agreement, bringing two nations deeply at odds with the United States closer. Iran's state TV said the agreement was signed in Tehran in the presence of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and North Korea's No2, Kim Yong-nam. Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told Kim that Islamic Iran and communist North Korea have common enemies and that both should resist threats and pressures to reach their goals. AP