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World Briefing - 2002-09-05

In China, police have surrounded a school run by the German embassy in Beijing where at least 15 North Koreans have sought refuge in an apparent bid to claim asylum. The North Koreans climbed over a wall surrounding the school compound on Tuesday. So far this year, at least 80 North Koreans have gained access to embassies in the hope they would be sent to South Korea to escape famine and repression back home.

In South Korea, thousands of people mobilized to clean up in the aftermath of Typhoon Rusa, the worst storm to hit the country in more than 40 years. The typhoon damaged more than 17-thousand homes and over five thousand hectares of farmland. The South Korean government says 88 people are confirmed dead and 70 are listed as missing.

The Sudanese government suspended landmark talks in Kenya on Monday that were aimed at ending Africa’s longest-running civil war. The government ordered a general mobilization of the army after rebels seized a strategic town. An estimated two million people have died in the conflict that started in 1983. Sudan is again gearing up for continued fighting.

A Philippine delegation says it is satisfied with its initial findings in a probe into conditions at Malaysian deportation camps for illegal Philippine workers. The delegation was dispatched to Malaysia following allegations by Philippine workers that they were mistreated during mass deportations last month.

Finally, in Sri Lanka, thousands of Sinhalese nationalists and Buddhist monks marched through the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo to protest against the government’s plan to initiate peace talks with the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels later this month.