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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea on Saturday freed an 85-year-old U.S. veteran of the Korean War after a weekslong detention, ending the saga of Merrill Newman's attempt to visit the North as a tourist six decades after he oversaw a group of South Korean wartime guerrillas still loathed by Pyongyang.
Diplomacy with Iran must be backed up by US military might, Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel said Saturday in a speech addressed to Gulf allies anxious over a nuclear deal with Tehran. Hagel promised the United States would maintain a 35,000-strong force in the Gulf region, as well as an armada of ships and warplanes, despite the recent deal with Tehran. Speaking at a security conference in Bahrain, he said the interim deal with Iran to roll back its nuclear programme was a risk worth taking but that Western diplomacy should not be "misinterpreted." The Pentagon "will not make any adjustments to its forces in the region -- or to its military planning -- as a result of the interim agreement with Iran," he added.
By Michael Martina BEIJING (Reuters) - Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop downplayed tensions over China's controversial air defense zone, which has also rankled the United States, Japan and South Korea, after meeting her Chinese counterpart on Saturday. "Australia is concerned that there be peace and stability in our region and we don't want to see any escalation of the tensions," Bishop told reporters following four hours of talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. It is in our interests, and indeed in the interests of a number of countries in our region, that there be peace and stability in the East China Sea, the South China Sea, and the region more generally." Bishop said discussion of the ADIZ only took up a "small proportion" of time in talks with Chinese leaders. "Australia's words and actions on the issue of China's air defense zone have damaged the mutual trust between the two sides," state news organization Xinhua reported Wang as saying.