World Briefs

S. Korea believes N. Korea conducted 3rd atomic test

SEOUL, South Korea – A South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman says Seoul believes that a nuclear test caused an earthquake in North Korea near the site of two previous atomic tests.

Kim Min-seok says North Korea informed China and the United States of its plans to conduct a nuclear test.

Kim says that shortly before noon today an earthquake was detected in North Korea just north of a site where the country has conducted nuclear tests, providing strong indication that Pyongyang has gone ahead with a highly anticipated third test.

Syrian rebels capture country’s largest dam

BEIRUT – Syrian rebels scored one of their biggest strategic victories Monday since the country’s crisis began two years ago, capturing the nation’s largest dam and iconic industrial symbol of the Assad family’s four-decade rule.

Rebels led by the al-Qaida-linked militant group Jabhat al-Nusra now control much of the water flow in the country’s north and east, eliciting warnings from experts that any mistake in managing the dam may drown wide areas in Syria and Iraq.

A Syrian government official denied that the rebels captured the dam, saying “heavy clashes are taking place around it.” The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations. But amateur video released by activists showed gunmen walking around the facility’s operations rooms and employees apparently carrying on with their work as usual.

The dam produces 880 megawatts of electricity, a small amount of the country’s production.

Still, the capture handed the rebels control over water and electricity supplies for both government-held areas and large swaths of land the opposition has captured over the past 22 months of fighting.

Associated Press