National

Gates tells China to deal with N. Korea

SINGAPORE — U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates challenged China to deal realistically with the short-term question of how to respond to an antagonistic North Korea and the longer-term issue of whether Beijing's expanding military can establish more durable ties with the U.S.

Asian nations cannot stand by in the face of North Korea's alleged sinking of a South Korean warship, Gates said during an international security summit Saturday that was dominated by questions about the North.

"To do nothing would set the wrong precedent," Gates said.

The latest crisis with North Korea points out the limited options to deter further attacks or dismantle its nascent nuclear weapons program. The United States and China were part of a diplomatic effort to buy out the North's nuclear program that fell apart two years ago.

In an interview Saturday, Gates said that North Korea seems immune to many of the traditional levers of international pressure, such as ostracization.

Attack hurts Mexican official's bodyguards

MEXICO CITY — An attack on the top security official in a northern Mexican state has wounded six of his bodyguards, one seriously.

A Durango state spokeswoman say Public Safety Secretary Valentin Romano Lopez escaped harm.

Spokeswoman Carla Puente says armed men attacked Romano on Saturday at an athletic club in the state capital, also called Durango.

State police serving as bodyguards returned fire and repelled the attack. Five officers suffered minor wounds, and one was reported in serious condition from a gunshot to the abdomen.

Puente says there were no arrests. Police reported finding a vehicle with bullet holes presumably used by the attackers.

  Comments