SEOUL, South Korea
North: Nukes a treasure
A top North Korean decision-making body issued a pointed warning Sunday, saying that nuclear weapons are “the nation’s life” and will not be traded even for “billions of dollars.”
The comments came in a statement released after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un presided over the plenary meeting of the central committee of the ruling Workers’ Party. The meeting comes amid a series of near-daily threats from Pyongyang in recent weeks, including a vow to launch nuclear strikes on the United States and a warning Saturday that the Korean Peninsula was in a “state of war.”
Pyongyang is angry over annual U.S.-South Korean military drills and a new round of U.N. sanctions that followed its Feb. 12 nuclear test, the country’s third. Analysts see a full-scale North Korean attack as unlikely and say the threats are more likely efforts to provoke softer policies from the South and talks and aid from the United States.
Crash kills 5 in Calif. family
Five members of a Southern California family were killed in southern Nevada when their van was rear-ended by an 18-year-old driver who was later arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, authorities said.
The dead were among seven family members who were in the van, authorities said. The other two — the 40-year-old female driver and a 15-year-old boy — were hospitalized in critical condition.
Jean Soriano of California was booked into the Clark County Detention Center after he was treated and released at University Medical Center in Las Vegas, Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Loy Hixson said.
Mandela reported restful
Former South African President Nelson Mandela had a restful day in a hospital Sunday and is improving following treatment for a recurrence of pneumonia, the government said.
The office of President Jacob Zuma thanked South Africans who prayed for 94-year-old Mandela at Easter church services this weekend, as well as people at home and around the world who showed their “love and support in various ways” for the anti-apartheid leader and his family.
“We also thank foreign governments for their messages of support,” Zuma’s office said in a statement.
3 killed in I-77 pile-up
Virginia State Police say three people have been killed and more than 20 are injured following a 75-vehicle pileup on Interstate 77 near the Virginia-North Carolina border.
The Virginia Department of Transportation says traffic is backed up about 8 miles.
State police say a series of wrecks began around 1:15 p.m. Sunday in the southbound lanes in the area of Fancy Gap Mountain in southwest Virginia. There was heavy fog at the time.
The interstate is closed in both directions. Northbound lanes are closed so emergency vehicles can get to the southbound lanes.
Motorists are being advised to seek alternate routes.