China: Abe Taking Japan Down “Very Dangerous Path”
China's United Nations envoy has lashed out at Japan, accusing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of taking the country down a "very dangerous path" by visiting a controversial war shrine.
Liu Jieyi told reporters late Wednesday Mr. Abe was in effect "siding with war criminals" by visiting Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine, which he said "whitewashes and glorifies aggression."
He called on the international community to issue a warning that Mr. Abe "must correct his erroneous outlook of history, he must correct his mistakes and he must not slip further down the wrong path."
In response, Japan's U.N. Ambassador Motohide Yoshikawa said Mr. Abe's visit was not to pay homage to war criminals or praise militarism, but was to pay respects to Japan's war dead.
He also renewed the prime minister's call for direct talks with China over the issue, which is the latest irritant in the increasingly tense China-Japan relationship. China has rejected the proposal.
Rodman Apologizes for Comments on US Citizen Held in NKorea
Retired American basketball star Dennis Rodman, who is on a self-described "basketball diplomacy" trip to North Korea, has apologized for an incoherent, profanity-filled rant in which he appeared to blame a U.S. citizen for being held by Pyongyang.
In a statement through a publicist, Rodman said Thursday he takes "full responsibility" for his comments, which he said "embarrassed a lot of people." He said it had been a "stressful day" and he had been drinking before the live interview with CNN.
In the Tuesday interview, the 52-year-old Rodman seemed to imply Korean-American missionary Kenneth Bae deserved his sentence of 15 years hard labor in the North. Puffing a cigar, Rodman asked the CNN anchor, "Do you understand what he did in this country?"
The comments received widespread criticism. His mother, Myunghee Bae, told VOA ((Korean service)) she was "very disappointed" by Rodman's statement and said he should do more to push for his release.