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Highlights from the world's press

Compiled by Ravi Agrawal for CNN
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The 'Happy Bomb'

(CNN) -- The Guardian in the UK says North Korea's "so-called happy bomb is not all bad news."

"The test has dramatized its warnings about 'rogue states' and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, even if U.S. policies have exacerbated the problem. And in Washington's view, it has created opportunities to reshape the regional strategic balance... The U.S. will also use this moment to advance its view that South Korea's 'sunshine policy' towards the North has been overdone. Despite increased anti-Americanism, the North's bellicosity has prompted South Koreans to take a fresh look at the U.S. alliance and their own actions."

Japan's Asahi Shumbun says that now "North Korea will no doubt continue to use the 'nuclear card' in all sorts of ways to secure the survival of the regime."

"The big question is how to bring North Korea back to the negotiating table and extract a compromise. For that, the cooperation of Japan, China, South Korea, the United States and Russia is essential ... We must avoid a situation in which the enforcement of the U.N. sanctions leads to an incident that escalates into a conflict."

Canada's National Post has criticized the U.N. over its handling of the issue, saying its sanctions "continue in the tradition of appeasement."

"The sanctions merely ask nations to freeze funds linked to North Korea's weapons of mass destruction programs, and to halt the trade of dangerous weapons and luxury goods. It seems doubtful whether the nations that matter, China and South Korea, will put any teeth into them."

Israeli president controversy

India's The Hindu has published a scathing editorial on Israeli President Moshe Katsav, saying if he "had any residue of shame, he would have quit office when the police recommended to the Attorney General that he should be indicted on charges of rape, sexual harassment, and illegal wire-tapping.

"Legally speaking, Mr. Katsav must be treated as an innocent unless and until he is proved guilty of the charges in a court. However, the manner in which he chose to respond to the investigations has brought disgrace to his position ... Although the law might provide him with some cover, Mr. Katsav must realize he is on the wrong side of a functioning democratic order."

Having earlier called on the Knesset to impeach Katsav, Israel's Haaretz has put forward Natan Sharansky's name as their choice to replace Katsav.

"Sharansky, who survived the Soviet hell, is capable of restoring confidence in our ability to overcome our profound national crises, as well as the confidence of Diaspora Jewry, for whom he is a hero. He is very familiar with all the sectors of the overseas public and maintains close ties with them. He is welcomed with affection and warmth by all the streams. He may be the most popular Israeli in the Jewish world."

Bloodshed in Sri Lanka

The Times in the UK says the "massive suicide attack on a Sri Lankan naval base at Galle is depressing evidence that the Tamil Tigers have no intention of pursuing peace talks and are determined to drag Sri Lanka back to full scale civil war.

"The resumption of violence is likely to hurt a recovering tourist industry, sharply reduce Sri Lanka's otherwise resilient economic growth and deter foreign investors. The island's neighbors ought to be more concerned ... Unless the Tiger threat is taken seriously, Sri Lanka will again find itself plunged into full-scale war."

Pakistan's Dawn echoes the view, saying that "after the EU ban on the LTTE, the Tigers have done their utmost to sideline the Scandinavian peace monitors."

"With both sides showing inflexible attitudes, the peace process can hardly be expected to make progress. The ultimate fear remains that of the peace monitors refusing to continue with their efforts. That would be a colossal loss for both sides, and mean a return to the cycle of violence that previously cost Sri Lanka 65,000 lives."

Space: New Frontiers, New War

The UK's Independent reports on the U.S. Bush administration's "aggressive" space strategy.

A new policy signed by Bush asserts that the U.S. "has the right to conduct whatever research, development and 'other activities' in space that it deems necessary for its own national interests."

The report adds that the U.S. will take actions to protect its space capabilities "and deny, if necessary, adversaries the use of space capabilities hostile" to those interests.


story.galle.fight.gi.jpg

A Sri Lankan trooper stands alert as a naval vessel patrols the sea off Galle.

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