Elephants flee fire on Mount Kenya

The Washington Times Daily - - World -

NAIROBI | A fire on the slopes of Kenya’s tallest moun­tain is send­ing big game an­i­mals such as elephants flee­ing for their lives, as wildlife agents and Bri­tish troops are fight­ing to put it out, of­fi­cials said Mon­day.

The flames al­ready have con­sumed hun­dreds of acres of for­est on Mount Kenya, said Paul Udoto, a spokesman for the Kenya Wildlife Ser­vice. The fire has cov­ered the spiky moun­tain in a haze of smoke.

Tourists stay­ing in moun­tain lodges are safe, Mr. Udoto said, but elephants are among the many an­i­mals flee­ing.

“The elephants fled the area but they are still within the pro­tected ar­eas of the moun­tain,” Mr. Udoto said.

Fire­fight­ers said they haven’t come across any an­i­mal hurt or killed by the fire.

Pho­tos of the fire show small bursts of flame and thick white smoke hang­ing over the moun­tain’s lower el­e­va­tions. Mount Kenya is the sec­ond-high­est peak in Africa, at 17,057 feet.

SEOUL | South Korea ac­cused North Korea on Mon­day of try­ing to de­velop a nu­clear-armed mis­sile through a satel­lite launch next month, af­ter Py­ongyang dis­missed in­ter­na­tional calls to aban­don the ex­er­cise.

“Our gov­ern­ment de­fines North Korea’s so-called work­ing satel­lite launch plan as a grave provo­ca­tion to de­velop a long-dis­tance de­liv­ery means for nu­clear weapons by us­ing bal­lis­tic mis­sile tech­nol­ogy,” said pres­i­den­tial spokesman Park Jeong-ha.

The North an­nounced Fri­day it would launch a long-range rocket be­tween April 12 and 16 to put a satel­lite into or­bit for peace­ful pur­poses.

The United States and other na­tions see the ex­er­cise as a thinly veiled long-range mis­sile test, which would breach a U.N. ban and vi­o­late last month’s de­nu­cle­ariza­tion deal with Washington.

The North is thought to have enough plu­to­nium for per­haps six to eight nu­clear weapons, but it is un­clear whether it can yet build an atomic war­head for a mis­sile.

The launch is timed to co­in­cide with mass cel­e­bra­tions mark­ing the 100th an­niver­sary of the birth of found­ing pres­i­dent Kim Il-sung.

It will come just af­ter an April 11 elec­tion in which the South’s rul­ing con­ser­va­tive party — bit­terly op­posed by Py­ongyang — seeks to re­tain par­lia­men­tary con­trol.

The is­sue also could over­shadow next week’s nu­clear se­cu­rity sum­mit in Seoul, to be at­tended by Pres­i­dent Obama and other world lead­ers.

Seoul said it would work closely with the U.S., Ja­pan, China, Rus­sia and the Euro­pean Union to han­dle the is­sue dur­ing the sum­mit, the big­gest-ever diplo­matic gath­er­ing in the South.

The North on Sun­day re­jected in­ter­na­tional protests, call­ing the crit­i­cism “a base move . . . to en­croach upon our sovereignty.”

Rul­ing party news­pa­per Rodong Sin­mun on Mon­day blasted Seoul for an “un­prece­dented pol­icy of syco­phancy” to­ward Washington.

On Mon­day, off icial news agency KCNA de­scribed Seoul’s ac­cu­sa­tion over the launch as “an odd smear cam­paign,” and said the satel­lite “is an is­sue fun­da­men­tally dif­fer­ent from that of a lon­grange mis­sile.”

The launch by the im­pov­er­ished but nu­clear-armed state seems likely to void a Feb. 29 agree­ment with Washington, which had raised hopes of eased ten­sions un­der young new leader Kim Jong-un.

The North agreed to sus­pend its uranium-en­rich­ment pro­gram, along with long- range mis­sile launches and nu­clear tests, in re­turn for 240,000 tons of much­needed U.S. food aid.

It main­tains that a satel­lite launch is not a mis­sile test.

But the State Depart­ment has called the plan “highly provoca­tive” and voiced strong doubt over pro­vid­ing the food if the launch goes ahead.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.