Top story: Top Pentagon officials say a newly discovered nuclear facility could substantially increase the risk of North Korea obtaining additional nuclear weapons. The facility, which was toured by an American nuclear scientist earlier this month and reported by the New York Times yesterday, appears to be a uranium enrichment plant. North Korea has already tested two relatively crude plutonium devices, but a substantial stockpile of uranium could allow the country to develop much more powerful bombs.
Speaking from a defense conference in Bolivia, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said North Korea is also likely developing long-range missile capability. "All of these programs are of great concern to every nation," he said. Gates does not believes the facility is part of a civilian nuclear any program, saying, "I don't credit that at all."
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen said the discovery destroys North Korea's already marginal international credibility. "It confirms or validates the concern we've had for years about their enriching uranium, which they've denied routinely," Mullen said. "They are a country that routinely we are unable to believe that they would do what they say."
The discovery of the new facility reportedly came as a shock to the South Korean government.
Irish crisis: After weeks of hesitation, Ireland has formally requested financial assistance from the European union and IMF. The final bailout deal is being formalized, but it may not save Prime Minister Brian Cowen's government. Ireland's Green Party has threatened to withdraw from Cowen's coalition govenrment unless early national elections are held in January.
- President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev met on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Lisbon on Saturday to discuss the ongoing congressional debate over the New START treaty.
- NATO adopted a new transition plan for the war in Afghanistan.
- Pope Benedict XVI said that the use of condoms may be justified for male prostitutes.
- The latest issue of al Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula's English-language magazine provides details about the planning of October's parcel plot.
- Newly discovered evidence reportedly links Hezbollah to the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
- The Israeli parliament is considering legislation that would make it much harder to withdraw from East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.
- A leaked audiotape reportedly records a conversation between a powerful Afghan warlord and an election official discussing the rigging of the recent parliamentary elections.
- Eight magazines were suspended in Burma after covering Aung San Suu Kyi's release.
- Japan's justice minister resigned after making jokes about his job.
- 28 members of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb reportedly surrendered in Mauritania.
- A South African court says Zimbabwean government property in Cape Town can be auctioned in order to reimburse evicted white farmers.
- Voter registration is extremely low for Southern Sudan's independence referendum in January.
- Gunmen killed the former governor of the western Mexican state of Colima.
- Some candidates in Haiti's election next Sunday are calling for the poll to be delayed because of the ongoing cholera outbreak.
- President Hugo Chavez is demanding further legal action against the owner of Venezuela's last remaining opposition TV station.
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