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News Briefs 1

Ghali's Term May Be Extended

The Washington Post

In the latest twist to the controversy over the Clinton administration's campaign to deny Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali a second, five-year term, the United Nations is abuzz with reports that Washington would accept a compromise extending his time in office.

U.S. officials categorically deny the reports and say they are determined Boutros-Ghali will not serve a day beyond the Dec. 31 expiration of his current term. "On Jan. 1, 1997, he no longer will be secretary general," a senior U.S. official said.

The American officials ascribed the speculation to the lingering belief of many U.N. members that President Clinton has opposed Boutros-Ghali to counter potential criticism by his GOP presidential challenger, Robert J. Dole, and Clinton would prove more flexible about a compromise if re-elected. That, the American officials reiterated, is a misreading of the U.S. conviction that Boutros-Ghali must go.

"We have been sounded out about a compromise truncated term, but it's a trial balloon floated by Boutros-Ghali's supporters," a senior U.S. official said. "They want to know if there is any room to deal. The answer is no."

North Korea Files Formal Charges Against American for Spying

The Washington Post

U.S. officials have been told that North Korea filed formal charges Sunday against an American whom the communist country says it arrested more than six weeks go for allegedly spying on behalf of its neighboring nemesis South Korea.

North Korea's Central News Agency announced over the weekend that Evan Carl Hunzike was taken into custody by North Korean security agents Aug. 24 after he illegally entered the country. Hunzike gained access from China by crossing the Yalu River, which flows along the border between the two nations, the agency said.

"Our understanding is that he is being treated properly," said White House spokeswoman April Mellody. "The U.S. government is working hard to find out more details on why he was there and what his intentions were."

A Clinton administration official said Sunday, "We know of no affiliation with any intelligence agencies at this point."

Christopher Begins African Tour

Los Angeles Times

Secretary of State Warren Christopher arrived in Mali on Monday on the first leg of a five-nation trek across Africa where he will try to tighten the squeeze on outlaw regimes, encourage democracy, and find a new secretary general for the United Nations.

On his weeklong tour, Christopher said Monday, he will launch a new round of diplomacy aimed at further isolating Nigeria's military regime, led by Gen. Sani Abacha, via selective new sanctions. After "glimmerings of hope" last spring, Christopher said the United States now is "very troubled" by the lack of progress on democratization.

The other initiative Christopher will undertake in Africa is finding new U.N. leadership. In a virtual ultimatum to Africa's leaders, who have been among the Egyptian incumbent's staunchest supporters, Christopher called for candidates to be nominated as soon as possible to replace U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali.

"It's time for Africa to come forward with some strong candidates. We think African candidates deserve consideration," Christopher said. "But unless some are offered, we will be left without them to consider. That would be a disadvantage from the standpoint of Africa."