On the 65th anniversary of the first use of nuclear weapons in warfare against a civilian population, a new precedent was set as U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos attended the annual Hiroshima Peace Memorial ceremony honoring the victims of the bombing in Hiroshima, Japan — the first time a U.S. official was present at the event.
U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos will attend the city of Hiroshima’s annual ceremony memorializing the 1945 atomic bombing of the city on August 6 — the first time a U.S. official has attended the commemoration. Bloomberg News quoted State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley, who said in Washington on August 3: “At this particular point, we thought it was the right thing to do.” Crowley added that the presence of Roos will “express respect for all of the victims of World War II.”
Officials in the United States may be considering Pfc. Bradley Manning as a "person of interest" in their investigation into the leaked Afghan "war diary" made public by whistle-blower Website WikiLeaks, but a retired Pakistani general says he knows who the culprit really is. According to General Hamid Gul, the U.S. government did it. Washington orchestrated the leak, he told the UK's Financial Times, in an effort to "scapegoat him for its failures in Afghanistan."
An AP report noted that colonels from the United Nations Command (UNC) — the agency responsible for carrying out the terms and conditions of the July 27, 1953, cease-fire agreement in Korea — met at the "truce village" of Panmunjom inside the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) dividing the two Koreas on July 23 with representatives of Pyongyang's Korean People's Army. During that meeting, UNC officers reminded North Korea about the UN Security Council order to honor the 1953 truce.
AFP news reported on July 22 that a spokesman for the North Korean delegation at the ASEAN security talks in Hanoi has condemned the U.S.-South Korea naval exercises planned for July 25 as a threat to global peace. The USS George Washington aircraft carrier arrived in the South Korean port of Busan on July 21 to take part in the exercises.
Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass has penned a cover story for Newsweek magazine calling for a smaller U.S. presence in Afghanistan, but not complete withdrawal.
Speaking at a news conference in Seoul, South Korea, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on July 21 that the United States will impose new sanctions on North Korea. The impetus for the sanctions against the communist nation was strengthened by the North’s suspected torpedo attack that sank South Korea’s ROKS Cheonan on March 26, as well as by the Pyongyang regime’s failure to accede to international demands to reveal the details of its nuclear program.
International leaders meeting at a conference held at the Afghan Interior Ministry in Kabul, Afghanistan, on July 20 renewed their commitment to turn over responsibility for the nation’s security to the Afghan government by 2014.
The return of Iranian scientist Shahram Amiri to Iran from CIA custody has news agencies wondering whether he defected or was kidnapped by the CIA during a June 2009 hajj (Islamic religious pilgrimage) to Mecca. “Americans wanted me to say that I defected to America of my own will, to use me for revealing some false information about Iran's nuclear work," Amiri said from Tehran airport last week, claiming, "I was under intensive psychological pressure by [the] CIA.... The main aim of this abduction was to stage a new political and psychological game against Iran.”
AP and the New York Times reported on July 15 that on the previous day the Afghan government approved a U.S.-backed plan to establish local defense forces that will enable villagers in remote areas of the country to defend themselves against attacks by Taliban insurgents.