Chatter: North Korea blocks off industrial zone




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Another day, another dare. North Korea's latest ploy to goad its neighbors is to cut off access to the industrial megapark it shares with South Korea.

More than 50,000 North Korean laborers and several hundred South Koreans work at in the Kaesong complex, which lies just across the demilitarized zone within the North's borders. Some 850 South Koreans were inside when Pyongyang announced that they were personae non gratae. They're allowed to leave, but no one else from across the border is being let in.

South Korea says it "deeply regrets" the entry ban, and will "take necessary measures" to ensure the safety of its citizens.


Colorado, or How One State Learned to Start Worrying and Control Guns. In the months a gunman shot dead 12 people at a movie theater in Aurora last July, the state's lawmakers have introduced their strictest weapons control measures in years, ordering universal background checks and limits on ammunition. Today, President Barack Obama travels there to press other states to do the same.

The visit – one day, incidentally, after the UN finally agreed on a landmark treaty to regulate the sale of arms globally – is part of a series of presidential appearances calculated to put the gun control debate front and center before Congress returns to work next week. "I haven't forgotten those kids" killed by gun violence, Obama said last week. He'll try and make sure no one else has, either.

Good news on Nelson Mandela. According to the latest update on everyone's favorite former South African president, he continues to respond satisfactorily to treatment in hospital and is making "steady improvement."

Doctors say he is now "much better" than he was when he was first admitted with a lung infection, one week ago.

Critical Cubans beware. It's been a whirlwind few weeks for Cuba's most prominent dissidents, as they take advantage of their new freedom to travel to tour the world, raise money abroad, and denounce President Raul Castro's government on three continents. But as they prepare to return in the coming days, observers will be watching to see if the activists face retaliatory measures from Cuban authorities.

GlobalPost ponders what will happen when Cuba's traveling dissidents go home.


You know what they say about Berlin... It's covered in bombs. They don't say that? Well they should, because just last night construction workers came across a 220-pound, unexploded World War II bomb, scarily close to the German capital's main train station.

The area is now cordoned off, houses evacuated and trains either halted or diverted as authorities try to decide how best to defuse the device. Not that they don't have experience: thousands of leftover bombs lie all over Germany, quietly – and sometimes not so quietly – rusting away.