Asia

Lee Myung-bakNorth Korea's state-controlled media issued a statement on June 17 warning of a "thousand-fold" military retaliation against the United States and its allies if provoked. BBC News quoted from a commentary published by Pyongyang's state news agency KCNA: "If the US and its followers infringe upon our republic's sovereignty even a bit, our military and people will launch a one hundred- or one thousand-fold retaliation with [a] merciless military strike. The nuclear program is not the monopoly of the US."

Elections in Iran. Supporter of MousaviCNN reported on June 16 that Iran's government had banned foreign media from covering rallies in Tehran being held in the wake of the disputed June 12 presidential election. The network reported that the government ban came after video footage was broadcast that showed violence at demonstrations held in support of the leading opposition candidate, Mir Hossein Moussavi. Moussavi has contested the results of the election, which delivered an overwhelming victory to the incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Iran woman for AhmadinejadThree days after Iran's June 12 presidential election, in which the incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was reelected with a reported two-thirds' majority, protests and allegations of vote-count irregularities and suppression of free speech dominated that nation's political landscape. The Islamic Republic News Agency, Iran's official news agency, announced Ahmadinejad's leading opponent, independent reformist candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi had received 33 percent of the votes cast.

UN Security Council votes on KoreaThe United Nations Security Council on June 12 unanimously approved stringent new sanctions against North Korea, in response to Pyongyang's May 25 nuclear test. Even North Korea's communist allies Russia and China joined in approving the sanctions resolution, which was passed by a 15-0 vote.

Voice of America's VOA News reported on June 11 that seven world powers had agreed the day before on a draft UN Security Council resolution to expand sanctions against North Korea in response to the communist nation's recent underground nuclear test and several ballistic missile tests. The draft text was the result of weeks of negotiations among the five permanent Security Council members — the U.K., China, France, Russia, and the United States — as well as non-permanent council members Japan and South Korea.

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