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S. Korea Says North Korean Nuclear Test Could Come Any Time

South Korea's government on Thursday issued its clearest public statement to date expressing a belief that North Korea has made technical preparations to conduct another nuclear test at any time.

Defense ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok explained to reporters this conclusion is based on recent satellite imagery showing excavation work at the Punggye-ri site, combined with other undisclosed intelligence data

China Blames Philippines for More Ships in Disputed Sea

China has acknowledged sending additional ships to the territory it disputes with the Philippines in the South China Sea but is blaming Manila for the escalation.

Thursday, China on called the Philippines "insincere" in wanting to resolve a two-month standoff about a disputed island in the South China Sea.

China’s Foreign Ministry cited unspecified provocative actions by Manila around the Scarborough Shoal.

At the same time, spokesman Hong Lei acknowledged sending more ships to the rocky islands, known as Huangyan in China, to strengthen its control.

Philippines Looks to US Treaty in China Dispute

A tense naval standoff stemming from competing territorial claims between China and the Philippines is throwing a spotlight on an obscure treaty between Manila and Washington. But contemporary political considerations may trump the decades-old agreement.

The Mutual Defense Treaty between the United States and the Philippines is being dusted off in both Washington and Manila by diplomats and politicians, many of whom were not even born when it was written in 1951.

South Sudan Accuses Sudan of New Air Attacks

South Sudan has accused Sudan of launching more air strikes against its territory to undermine international mediation efforts.

Government officials in Juba said Sudanese warplanes bombed Northern Bahr el Ghazal state on Monday and Tuesday. The allegations could not be independently confirmed and there was no response from Sudan.

Military spokesman Phillip Aguer said Khartoum has developed a pattern of striking when mediation efforts are under way.

State Media Blames Kachin Rebels for Electricity Shortage in Burma

Rare street protests of months of electricity cuts are being held in Burma’s second-largest city, Mandalay. Burma’s state media blames attacks by ethnic-Kachin rebels for worsening chronic power shortages.

Protesters gathered late Sunday in Mandalay, upset with power cuts that have left them with only several hours of electricity a day. Hundreds of people held a peaceful candle-lit walk through the streets and outside the local electric authority, demanding regular supplies of power.

Nationalist Wins Serbian Presidency in Runoff

Serbian President Boris Tadic has conceded defeat in the runoff presidential election against nationalist opposition candidate Tomislav Nikolic.

Unofficial results give Nikolic 50 percent of the vote and President Tadic 47 percent.

Turnout was less than half of all registered voters with some voters saying they did not like either candidate.

Tadic congratulated his opponent and urged him to keep Serbia on the path towards European Union membership.

Venezuela's Chavez Breaks Post-Treatment Silence

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has broken a week-long silence following his recent cancer therapy treatment.

Chavez told state TV by phone Friday that he is working eight hours daily, following his diet and resting.

The Socialist leader returned from his latest radiation treatment in Cuba eight days ago, but he has yet to disclose details about his condition.

Chavez began treatments in March following operations in February and last June to remove tumors from his pelvic area

Pentagon Accuses China of Cyber-Spying to Expand its Economy and Military

The Pentagon accused China Friday of using cyber-espionage to improve its economy and expand its military.

In an annual report to Congress, the Department of Defense said, “Chinese actors are the world's most active and persistent perpetrators of economic espionage.” The report went on to say that Chinese spying would continue to pose a growing threat to U.S. economic security.

Regional Crises Boost Turkey's Ties With Iraq's Kurds

The prime minister of Iraq's Kurdistan autonomous region is visiting Turkey - his first trip there since taking office in March. The visit is expected to build on the growing rapprochement between Turkey and Iraq's Kurds. That process is being enhanced by deepening crises in Iraq and and mutual neighbor Syria.

Political analysts in Turkey see the visit by Iraqi Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani as a sign of the growing importance of his Turkish neighbor.

N. Korea Reportedly Resumes Work on Reactor

New satellite images show North Korea has resumed construction on a new nuclear reactor, despite international criticism.

The U.S.-Korea Institute, operated by Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), says images taken by a commercial satellite on April 30 show Pyongyang has made progress on a light water reactor at its main nuclear complex at Yongbyon.

Obama Order Targets People Threatening Yemen Transition

President Barack Obama on Wednesday issued an executive order freezing U.S. assets of anyone considered to be threatening the success of the U.S.-backed political transition in Yemen.

In the order, Mr. Obama declares a national emergency with respect to "actions and policies of certain members of the government of Yemen, and others threatening peace, security or stability by obstructing implementation of last year's political transition agreement."

S. China Sea Dispute Blamed Partly on Depleted Fish Stocks

China and the Philippines have announced temporary bans on fishing in areas of the South China Sea they both claim as sovereign territory. The bans may help cool tempers after ships from the two sides faced off in April. But, political analysts say a more permanent solution is needed to address a cycle of conflict partly caused by depleting fish stocks.

China every year imposes a ban on fishing for several weeks in a northern part of the South China Sea.

Beijing says the restriction, used for more than a decade, allows fish stocks to replenish.

China Voices Concern Over Australian-US Military Ties

China has criticized Australia’s plans to increase the number of U.S. military personnel stationed in the Northern Territory. Australia is hosting the troops as part of the Obama administration's strategic shift toward the Asia-Pacific. Beijing says Canberra is revisiting Cold War alliances as Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr makes his first visit to China.

Pakistan Signals NATO Supply Routes Should be Reopened

Pakistan has signaled that NATO supply lines to Afghanistan should be reopened.

Pakistan shut down the routes after U.S. airstrikes mistakenly killed 24 Pakistani troops near the Afghan border last November.

Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar told reporters in Islamabad Monday that Pakistan needs closure on the cross-border attack and needs to “move on.” She said Pakistan has “made the point and we now need to move on and go into a positive zone of trying to conduct our relations” with the United States.

South Sudanese Airlifted Home From North

The International Organization for Migration has begun repatriating thousands of South Sudanese stranded at a way station near the border with Sudan.

The first plane carrying 164 refugees landed Monday in South Sudan's capital Juba.

The refugees are among a group of 12,000-15,000 South Sudanese who are waiting to leave the crowded transit camp at Kosti, south of Khartoum.