♪ condemningnghe u.n. north korea hits back at the united nations in back and forth criticism. officials in pyongyang rejected a statement of condemnation from the u.n. the north koreans fired off what they called a rocket last friday. it blew up less than two minutes after takeoff. the security council agreed on monday to issue a presidential statement that strongly condemns the launch. north korea's foreign ministry issued a statement of its own. it criticized the u.n. for
accusing north korea for conducting a missile test disguised as a satellite launch. the statement says north korea rejects the council's violation of the north's legitimate right to launch satellites. north korea criticized the united states for halting food aid. u.s. officials promised the aid in february. in return, north korean officials agreed to suspend their nuclear and missile programs. their statement says they are no longer bound by the agreement. it also says north korea is also able to take retaliatory steps but does not give any details. political analysts say the measures could include more uranium enrich, a nuclear test or other provocative acts. a senior u.s. state department official says he isn't surprised north korea is abandoning the agreement. he also discussed concerns the country is preparing for a nuclear test. >> we can't preclude anything at this point, but very clearly reminding them of their obligations under existing u.n. security council resolutions and
also very clearly conveying the fact that security councils would take appropriate actions. >> toner hinted at the possibility of additional sanctions if the country resorts to further provocations. he also confirmed that the u.s. suspended its plan to send food aid. but he did not say whether the u.s. government will abandon the rest of the bilateral agreement. iran's military put on a show of force and its leader delivered a warning. president mahmoud ahmadinejad used the occasion of national army day to say the military will retaliate for any act of aggression. nhk world reports from tehran. >> reporter: president ahmadinejad issued the warning during a speech at the military parade near tehran. it was apparently directed at western countries and israel. ahmadinejad said foreign interference will bring nothing
but destruction in the region. he added that the enemy will regret any act of aggression toward his country. the u.s. and european nations are tightening sanctions against iran over its nuclear programs. israel says it will not rule out an attack on iranian nuclear facilities if necessary. iran and some western nations agreed last week to continue nuclear talks to achieve a diplomatic resolution, but with no tangible result in sight, israel is criticizing iran for buying time. it's unclear whether the talks will help ease military tensions. mojitabu sanati, nhk world, tehran. >> ahmadinejad's visit to an island in the persian gulf has stoked tensions between iran and gulf arab states. officials claim it belongs to them.
ahmadinejad visited abu musa last week. it's one of three islands claimed by both iran and the uae. they lie near shipping lanes in the strait of hormuz. officials of the gulf cooperation council not doha, qatar. they issued a statement condemning the visit as provocative and a violation of the uae's sovereignty over the islands. ahmadinejad remains firm. he says the iranian army will not allow any hostile act on its territory. the pro-u.s. gulf countries already at odds with iran over its nuclear development program. the latest row over the islands is adding to the tension. iran has controlled the islands since 1971. seven gulf emirates gained full independence from britain that year and formed the uae. the governor of tokyo has stirreup a controversy over a chain of islands in the east china sea. he infuriated chinese leaders by
suggesting his government plans to buy the senkaku islands. he spoke to reporters in washington one day after he announced the plan in a lecture at a u.s. think tank. he says the u.s. government was negotiate with the owner to purchase three of the islands. japan's chief cabinet secretary responded to the plan by suggesting the central government could buy them if necessary. ishihara said his staff will go ahead with negotiations just the same. >> translator: china says it's unreasonable that japan is actually controlling the islands, and it will take bot action to change this. it's very scary. a virtual declaration of war. >> china, too, lays claim to the islands. they denounced the plan. they say any unilateral action would be invalid. the owner's family says he is leaning toward selling the islands.
>> translator: the islands would be better if they were owned by a state or municipal government rather than an individual. securing continuous ownership would prevent japan's national interest from being undermined in the future. >> kurihara told nhk his brother would start negotiating with both the tokyo and japanese governments if the national government expressed an interest. chinese officials aren't about to give up their claims on the islands. they've been busy around the senkus in recent weeks in an effort to assert their sovereignty. chinese research ships conducted patrols last month in waters around the islands. state media reported on what they were doing there. >> chinese officials say they'll
continue to patrol the waters and assert their claims. they released a list of chinese names for the islands last month. japanese officials had earlier named dozens of uninhabited islands, including those in the senkakus. finance ministers and central bank governors from the group of 20 nations will try to reinforce protections against another debt crisis. they'll meet on thursday in washington. u.s. treasury undersecretary brainerd said the world economic outlook has improved. concerns over the european debt crisis have eased slightly. but the global recovery remains weak. brainerd praised an agreement by eurozone members to expand their own rescue fund. they said they should make sure austerity measures don't dampen economic growth. she urged member nations to work harder to shore up the euro. she said they need to do everything possible to avoid another crisis.
g-20 ministers and bank governors will focus on boosting the lending power of the international monetary fund. imf analysts say the global economy will refrain fragile -- remain fragile through the end of the year. they have renewed concerns about european debt and the price of oil. the analysts say the global economy this year will expand by 3.5%. that's a slight increase from their january forecast. they raised their growth 2.1% and the one for japan to 2%. they upgraded the view of the eurozone by 0.2 percentage points. but they still think the region will contract by 0.3%. spain's economy will also shrink by 1.8%. japan, denmark, norway and sweden have given a boost to imf managing director christine la gard. japan will lend an additional $60 billion to the fund.
and the scandinavian countries will contribute a combined $26 billion. la gard is trying to raise $400 billion. she said stable funding for the imf would lead to a more stable world economy. sweden offered at least $10 billion. denmark $7 billion and norway more than $9 billion. now let's check some economic figures from mainland china and hong kong. our reporter in hong kong jamie ung has more. >> china's inflation rate started rising again nationwide in march. in shanghai, prices come down slightly from february. the shanghai municipal bureau said prices rose 3.8% in march compared to a year ago. it was down 0.1 percentage point from the previous month. but food prices were still high, up over 9%. prices for home appliances and maintenance services also rose 5%. the chinese property market
seems to have cooled down. the national statistics bureau says home sales declined 17.5% in first quarter compared to a year ago. overall properties sales including homes, offices and commercial buildings fell 14.6%. the government road various curbs to clampdown on housing prices including property taxes and restrictions on second home purchases. a report by citigroup says the cost of homes in hong kong rose 6% in the first quarter. the report said house prices dropped for seven months from mid-2011 before bottoming out in january, and then picking up strongly after the chinese new year. the report said the pace of growth was faster than expected and has spurred concerns about an asset bubble and a new round of housing curbs. the retail landscape is also seeing great changes. a part of the territory has been
split into two business areas. one is catering to tourists from mainland china. the other is serving local people. julian luck explains. >> reporter: this is nathan road, a boulevard on the kowlon part of hong kong. the road used to be full of shops selling a myriad of things for local hong kong residents. not anymore. we can see a lot of tourists on this street. nearly 40 tourist stores in this section. today, the area is packed with jewelry shops. they are targeting mainland tourists who love gold. this jewelry chain operates 12 stores along the road, including this big flagship store. mainlanders account for more than half of their sales. >> translator: it's cheaper to buy things here than in the mainland.
they are more delicately made, and we have a wider choice. i've been here many times. >> translator: this costs around 9,000 u.s. dollars. it is very reasonable. >> it's not cheap it remain competitive in this prime area. the rent for this flagship store is a whopping 300,000 u.s. dollars a month. but the store doesn't mind, because the area is critically important. >> chinese tourists are very important to our hong kong retail market. so a rough estimation of around 50% to 60% of our sales is contributed by tourists. >> while major retailers in the shopping area are shifting business to cater to mainland tourists, stores serving local people are thriving in the suburbs. this is east kowloon, a rundown
area of industry buildings, old stores and later public transport. they are now in the crosshairs of real estate developers. this shopping mall opened at the end of last year. government offices were once located here. following a demographic survey, the mall targets local shoppers between 15 and 39 years old. >> this place is special. there are very few of these malls in industrial areas. >> my school is nearby. this district is very old. and there were no large malls. this has soon become one of the landmarks. >> the developer offers low rent to lure small local stores. the rent is about an eighth of what they are for major shopping malls.
yong runs a housewares store in this mall. he used to do business in a major shopping area for mainland tourists. the costs were prohibitively high. now he makes more money because of the low rent. >> translator: business is better than where we were before. people living upstairs in this luxury housing complex spend a great deal of money. >> as to diversification of hong kong's shopping districts continues, the pay of development is expected to accelerate in areas where small retailers are serving the needs of local residents. julian luk, nhk world, hong kong. >> that wraps up our report from hong kong. back to you in tokyo. >> and that was our reporter jaymee ng in hong kong.
people in japan's northeast are focused on overcoming the challenges of the 2011 disaster. but it won't be easy. they have to rebuild homes, businesses, entire communities. we'll show you their struggles and their successes on "the road ahead" every wednesday at 1:00 p.m. japan time here on "newsline." the operator of the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant will send a robot into reactor number two for the first time since the march 11th disaster last year. tokyo electric company will use an 80-centimeter tall robot mounted with five cameras, a dosimeter and audio recorder. a worker in an adjacent building will control it through a cable link. a team will check for damage to the suppression chamber and the containment vessel. the robot will also measure radiation levels. tepco will have to repair any damage to the chamber and vessel. then a crew will fill the vessel with water and retrieve melted fuel rods.
municipal leaders in japan's northeast are making the best of a bad situation. last year's tsunami devastated coastal towns and cities. evidence of the destruction still remains. so locals are offering visitors disaster-area tours. we're taking you on one for this week's "road ahead." here's nhk world's yukari condo. >> reporter: junko from miyago city leads a tour. the city's tourism office hired her in february as a disaster area guide. the tsunami -- it also left her jobless. looking back on the ordeal, how to bear. then a friend in tokyo asked her
if things up north were back to normal. she said she hadn't heard much news about the area. that's what made her apply for the guide position. >> translator: i was worried that everyone just assumed things were back to normal here. things are slowly getting better, but we are nowhere close to being back on our feet. >> reporter: in miyago city, the tsunami swept over one of japan's largest sea walls. it killed more than 420 people, and the extent of damage is beyond imagination. before leading her first tour, sazaki did some research. she knew many visitors intend to learn about disaster prevention through the experiences of people who went through the
calamity. on this day, she visits a local fishing business to see how well the industry is recovering. >> translator: we are still working on it. by the beginning of june, we should be able to store the kelp in our facilities. >> at first, she thought giving tours of the devastated area would be too much for her. but now, as she sees the area rebuilding, little by little, she is keen to get the message out to others. >> translator: i want to know how everyone in the area actually felt. frustration, sadness, regret. all of it. and i want to be the one to convey these people's feelings to our visitors as much as
possible. >> reporter: finally, her first day as a disaster area guide. she walks with a group of about 40 people from tokyo. >> translator: you can see that the trees on that mountain are black. they were burned by the fires. they built a processing plant there and the seaweed cultivation is doing very well. we are very relieved and our optimism is gradually returning. thank you all for coming. >> translator: listening to the stories of what happened at each spot weighed heavily on me. but it was worthwhile.
>> translator: we were hesitant about coming here, but it has been really wonderful. i have seen, heard and felt much. i want to tell others who plan to come here about my experience. >> translator: i was thrilled by how everyone listened to me so intently. i hope i succeeded in conveying my feelings to them. >> reporter: by guiding visitors through the devastated areas, sazaki and others benefit many people. the visitors get a better idea of how to prevent disasters. the locals make sure the memories are not soon forgotten. yukari kondo, nhk world, miyago. and sayaka mori is up next with weather. >> thanks. let's start off in east asia.
a high pressure system is dominating much of japan staying dry across much of the country. but some showers are expected this afternoon along the pacific coast. and tomorrow, rain will be moving into the southern half of the korean peninsula, as well as western japan from china. up towards the north, there's a low pressure system spreading a wintry mix across mongolia and as the temperatures move through, temperatures will drop significantly on your thursday. down towards the south, wet picture again across southeastern china. it's been dealing with heavy rain. but an additional 100 millimeters is expected. mainly in gong dong province. the ground is already very well saturated so any additional rain is not good news here. now moving over to the americas. things are getting much calmer and dry across much of the northeastern states and eastern canada. however, it's a different story for the southeastern corner of the u.s.
this slow-moving low pressure system is still producing thunderstorms and heavy rain across the eastern half of the deep south and the stormy conditions will likely continue all day wednesday. up towards the north, there's a low pressure system producing a wintry mix in the northern plains. that will be moving into the great lakes region and spreading very heavy snow on your wednesday. up to 20 centimeters of snow is expected in ontario. and back behind it, a couple of low pressure systems are producing a wet and windy day in the northwestern u.s. and western canada. to the south of the system, very warm for this time of year. 24 in los angeles. and 22 in denver. but out towards the east, temperatures are starting to cool down. toronto getting up to only 9 degrees, which is about 16 degrees lower than what we saw on tuesday. finally, let's go over to europe. a strong low pressure system is still sitting over the british aisles. and western continent producing
stormy weather. we are talking about severe thunderstorms, hail and gusty winds. we have heavy rain warnings in effect across the southern uk. the stormy weather here will likely continue for the rest of the week. somewhere else that's been dealing with stormy weather is the balkan peninsula and some of it will also be spread into turkey over the next 24 hours. and then a wintry mix and snow is producing -- is falling across finland and sweden. that will be dissipating by wednesday night. stockholm will be escaping. getting up to 12 degrees in moscow and the same goes for warsaw. now before i wrap up, i want to show you some unusual sights from the heavens. these pictures released by nasa on monday show a powerful solar flare that elised an eruption of superheated plasma from the
our top stories once again -- north korea has reacted angrily to the u.n. security council's presidential statement condemning the country's rocket launch last friday. north korea's foreign ministry criticized the presidential statement that accused the north of conducting a long-range missile test disguised as a satellite launch. the foreign minister's statement says north korea totally rejects the council's violation of the north's legitimate right to launch satellites. north korea criticized the united states for suspending the food aid it promised in return for a moratorium on the north's missile and nuclear programs. the statement says north korea is no longer bound to the agreement that was reached to february. it also says north korea is now able to take the necessary retaliatory steps but does not give any details. the measures could lead stepped up uranium enrichment, a nuclear
test and other provocative acts to keep the u.s. in check. a senior u.s. state department official says he isn't surprised that north korea is abandoning the february agreement. he also discussed concerns that the country is preparing for a nuclear test. >> we can't preclude anything at this point but, again, very clearly, reminding them of their obligations under existing u.n. security council resolutions and also very clearly conveying the fact that security councils would take appropriate actions. >> toner hinted at the possibility of additional sanctions if the country resorts to further provocations. he also confirmed that the u.s. suspended its plan to send food aid, but he did not say whether the u.s. government will abandon the rest of the bilateral agreement. finance ministers from the group of 20 nations will try to reinforce protections against another debt crisis. they'll meet on thursday in
washington. u.s. treasury undersecretary brainerd said the world economic outlook has improved concerns over the european debt crisis, have eased slightly. but the global recovery remains week. brainerd praised an agreement by eurozone members to expand their own rescue fund. they should make sure austerity measures don't dampen economic growth. she urged member nations to work harder to shore up their single currency, the euro. she said they need to do everything possible to avoid another crisis. g-20 ministers and bank governors will focus on boosting the lending power of the international monetary fund. and that's all for now on this edition of "newsline." i'm yuko aotani in tokyo. we'll be back with more news in half an hour, so do join us then. thank you very much for watching.