World News briefs: Feb. 17
Iran says may send forces to Pakistan to free border guards
DUBAI, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Iran said on Monday it would send forces into Pakistan to free kidnapped border guards if Islamabad did not take measures to secure their release, after Iranian media reports said the guards had been seized by militants operating from Pakistan.
"If Pakistan doesn't take the needed steps to fight against the terrorist groups, we will send our forces into Pakistani soil. We will not wait for this country," Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani-Fazli was quoted as telling the semi-official Mehr news agency.
North Korea "categorically and totally rejects" U.N. rights report
GENEVA, Feb 17 (Reuters) - North Korea "categorically and totally rejects" a report into its human rights record, which is due to be published later on Monday by a U.N. Commission of Inquiry, it said in a statement sent to Reuters from its diplomatic mission in Geneva.
The two page statement said the report was an "instrument of political plot" and "a product of politicization of human rights on the part of EU and Japan in alliance with the U.S. hostile policy".
"However, we will continue to strongly respond to the end to any attempt of regime-change and pressure under the pretext of 'human rights protection'," it said. "The DPRK (North Korea) once again makes it clear that the 'human rights violations' mentioned in the so-called 'report' do not exist in our country."
Iran says Russia could build nuclear reactor in exchange for oil
MOSCOW, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Russia could build a second reactor at Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant in exchange for Iranian oil, the Iranian ambassador to Moscow said in remarks published on Monday.
Reuters reported last month that Iran and Russia were negotiating to swap up to 500,000 barrels of oil per day for goods in a deal that would undermine Western efforts to maintain economic pressure on Tehran while global powers seek to curb its nuclear programme.
"Iran could use some of the proceeds (to pay for) the construction by Russian companies of a second unit at the nuclear power plant in Bushehr," ambassador Mehdi Sanaei told the daily Kommersant. Russia built the first reactor at Bushehr, Iran's sole nuclear power plant.
Hundreds may be involved in gravest N.Korean crimes - investigator
GENEVA, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Hundreds of North Korean officials are potentially liable for the worst crimes against humanity being committed in the isolated country, a U.N. Commission of Inquiry said on Monday.
Michael Kirby, a former chief justice of Australia heading the U.N. Commission of Inquiry on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, was asked how many North Korean officials may have committed the gravest crimes documented by investigators.
"The potential would be running into hundreds I would think," Kirby told a news conference.