pomp and circumstances. north korea marks another anniversary and finds another way to enhance the power of its leader. you're watching "newsline." the people who support kim jong-un have spentnt t tast few wewesstaging events s undedecoco hisis leleereripip dadathey arere o oerving anothth one. the korean opop's's army iss celebrbrininthe 80thnnnnersary ofoftstsfounding.. kim, recentltl assumed t top popo of theuling party,hehe state and the mililiryry he p pdgdg to f fther developop nortrt korea's militarar ght.
the army's s srere command warned on monday it would launch special actions against south korea. they said in a statement they'd reduce the government in seoul to ashe they criticized president lee myung-bak and several media outlets for swaying public opinion. analysts say the leadership in pyongyang is trying to tighten its grip on power at a time of economic difficulty. they say north korean officials may carry out a third nuclear test to boost national prestige. those officials launched a rocket earlier this month, they say, to put a satellite into space. blew up less than two minutes after takeoff. south korean authorities have a warning for their neighbor to the north, don't do it. they're again urging the regime of kim jong-un to refrain from carrying out another nuclear test. they say the result will only
hurt north korea's international standing. >> translator: the north has made significant preparat the t. all that remains now is its political decision. >> south korean intelligence authorities confirmed this month that workers in the north have been digging a new tunnel in the region of punggye-ri. they believe that will be a test site. a senior government official says north korean leaders will further isolate their country if they carry out another nuclear test. the official points out it will also make it harder for them to develop their failed economy. the north koan government made a rare public admission recently. state media reported an attempt to launch a satellite into space failed. many nations considered it a long-range missile test. still, south korean officials say this admission could signal a change in political style under new leader kim jung-un. a group of activists in south korea has released balloons carrying pamphlets and food across the border with north korea.
they say the initiative is meant to denounce north korea's launch of a missile earlier this month while the population continues to starve. nhk world reports from seoul. >> reporter: the ngo members are now preparing for launching balloons with the fruit and chocolate to north korea. the ngo is composed of citizens who fled north korea. they released ten huge balloons carrying 2,000 packages. the leaflets explain the budget for the missile launch equals the cost of feeding 19 million people for two years. >> translator: we are sending these chocolate cakes with our prayers for the happiness of the north korean people.
>> reporter: north korean authorities have responded with harsh criticism saying the balloons are an insult against their leader kim jong-un. south korea's armed forces have deployed vehicles to track the balloons by satellite and to observe any retaliation by north korea. the group says this action is meant to support the civilian population in the wake of the recent leadership transition. another group is preparing to launch more balloons next weekend. this time, they will be loaded with pamphlets and radios capable of receiving broadcasts from south korea. fumito sako, nhk world, south korea. in other news, a bomb explosion has killed three people and injured 38 others at a railway station in the eastern pakistani city of lahore.
police say the bomb exploded after 6:00 p.m. on tuesday. they say the blast occurred ne a waiting room for express trains linking lahore and karachi to the south. police say they suspect islamist militants were targeting ordinary citizens. in northwestern pakistan, a car bomb went off at a marketplace in january killing more than 30 people. residents of syria are seeing more of what they've seen over the past year despite promises of cease-fire. the united nations brokered a truce between government and opposition forces. it didn't hold. and residents are still running from the fighting. many have taken refuge over the border in turkey. kenji gota has the latest from there. >> reporter: he points over the border to his home just a few kilometers away. he spent much of the past year with the syrian army fighting against government forces.
then soldiers attacked his hometo hometown. about half of the 15,000 residents left syria. he crossed over just a few weeks ago. >> translator: the government forces attacked us after cordoning off the town. i saw children's bodies buried in the ruins of a collapsed building. >> reporter: the turkish government and the turkish red crescent set up this camp in march of last year. refugees started trickling in. now 250 of them arrived every day. more than 12,000 people now call this their temporary home.
>> he used to run a shop selling mobile phones. he used his to document what happened there over the past ye year. >> translator: this is when people staged a demonstration. >> reporter: several hundred residents staged a protest against the administration of president bashar al assad. government troops arrived soon after.
he says soldiers who deflected leaked this video. he said it shows troops tie the hands of 25 people behind their backs, then murder them. >> translator: seeing the footage, what comes to your mind? it's nothing but a tragedy. the government forces are murdering innocent people. >> reporter: he also kept video he says shows civilians being tortured. >> reporter: he says the soldier
tortured him, too. >> translator: they forced me to lie face down on the ground. then they beat me. my legs and my head. >> reporter: refugees feel safe with a border between them and the soldiers. he feels there's a limit to what opposition forces can do to counter the government without outside help. he says all he can now do is hope that one day that will change. kenji goto reporting for nhk world, turkey. chinese president hu jintao has called on the sudan and south sudan to halt fighting and settle their territorial disputes through negotiations.
the two african countries are fighting over oil fields in their common border area. the region supplies 5% of china's oil imports. the chinese leader recently met south sudanese president in beijing. china's xinhua news agency reported that he denounced sudan for declaring a war on its southern neighbor. it said he sought support from china and other members of the international community. the news agency quoted hu as saying that he hopes both sudans will respect each other's sovereignty and exercise restraint. hu indicated china's readiness to cooperate with south sudan's efforts to improve its infrastructure. china apparently hopes to secure more oil exports from the region. china made large investments in oil resources in sudan before south sudan achieved independence last year. 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 nuclear plant on the sea of japan coast will undergo fresh inspections after experts warned it may be located above active faults. the plant is now offline for regular safety checks. the nuclear and industrial safety agency issued the inspection order to operator japan atomic power company. a team of experts surveyed three faults under the plant compound. one of the faults located 150 meters west of the number two reactor may be active. the team said the fault could shift simultaneously with a known active fault nearby. if that happens, they could trigger an earthquake more powerful than the plant's allowable level. the agency ordered the plant
operator to check if the fault running directlybelow the reactor is active. the government's quake resistance guidelines for nuclear plants do not consider the possibility of active faults. the agency has been examining seismic faults near plants across japan following the nuclear next fukushima. in mmyanmar, one critical word is keeping aung san suu kyi from taking her seat in parliament. the impasse over the oath of office remains unsolved. he's looking for a way forward. here's patchari raksawong in bangkok with the details. >> reporter: the speaker of the lower house of parliament has for the first time shown willingness to comprise. he told nhk he'll twork make it easier for aung san suu kyi and here colleagues from the national league for democracy to take their seats. nhk world's tiha tway reports. >> reporter: parliament opened on monday, but aung san suu kyi
and the lawmakers from her national league for democracy did not take their seat. the object to the oath of office that makes them promise to safeguard the constitution. they say it forced them to approve of the superior position of the military as granted by the constitution. the powerl speaker of the lower house told nhk on tuesday he's hopeful aung san suu kyi will soon be able to attend. >> we welcome her and her party to participate in our parliament. >> reporter: he understood aung san suu kyi's position. he said he is making efforts to find a resolution. this is the first time such senior official from parliament has shown willingness to compromise. parliament wants aung san suu kyi to take her seat in the parliament as soon as possible
that will show the world myanmar's reforms are on track while the international community considers is ap economic sanction. >> the international community is urging both sides in myanmar to find a solution. >> the nld is in discussion with the government and with other parties with regard to this issue, and we are calling on everybody to try to work this through in a manner that will allow the nld to take its seats. >> the united nations also urged the parties to compromise for the sake of reform. >> i hope that they will be able to find out some resolutions on this issue harmoniously for the democratization of their country. >> reporter: u.n. secretary-general ban ki-moon is expected to visit myanmar on
sunday. he'll meet aung san suu kyi for the first time, and he'll also hold talks with president thethei thein sein. plans are in place to triple the capacity of its largest port by 2023 to support the country's rapid growth. nhk world's atoshi reports from jakarta. >> reporter: the indonesian port corporation on monday set out its ambitious expansion plan for jakarta's port. it includes widening nearby roads and lanes. the project will be conducted in two phases and will cost $2.47 billion. the port handles 6 million 20-foot containers every year. last year, indonesia's exports soared 30% to a record high.
even so, concerns remain that outdated infrastruct surholding back the country's economic potential. >> translator: the problem is how to maintain growth with the shortage of capacity in the main port. that's why it must be expanded immediately. right now our capacity is almost at the limit. >> reporter: they hope to turn it into the top ports in the world. the ports are being stretched to breaking point. the country hopes improving infrastructure will help fix the bottlenet that has been limiting its trade potential. and that will wrap up our bulletin. i'm patchari raksawong reporting in bangkok. people around the world can't keep their hands off new iphones and ipads.
ai uchida joins us. >> reporter: another stellar quarter for apple. the company's earnings have nearly doubled from over a year earlier. that's due to robust demand for smartphones and tablet devices. the u.s. computer giant said on tuesday that its net profit stood at slightly over $11.6 billion. sales also surged nearly 60% year on year to over $39 billion. both figures marked record highs for the quarter. the company says unit sales of the iphone jumped 88%. this came as the new model sold briskly in china and other countries after its introduction there earlier this year. sales of the ipad also soared 2.5 times. chief executive tim cook said apple is thrilled with the outstanding results and record-breaking sales of its flagship products.
he promised the firm will deliver a lot more innovation over the year. strong earnings from the united states pushed the dow jones industrial average higher. we also saw a bounceback in eurozone sentiment. let's see how stocks are starting off here in tokyo. we're going to go to ramin mellegard at the tokyo stock exchange. ve very big day for earnings. >> you just talked about apple there. that's going to have a big focus here in the japanese markets as well. the numbers came out after the markets closed, so apple shares actually traded a little bit lower during normal market hours but then in after-hours trading, it surged just over 7%. so we're going to see how that affects markets here. also, u.s. markets, the dow ended higher and that followed gains in the european markets. also helped by earnings from at&t and 3m. let's have a look at the opening levels for the nikkei in the first around 20 minutes so far
of trading and both indexes trading higher there. you can see the nikkei up by just over 1%. now, of course, the focus is going to be the ripple effect for many of the apple's componentmakers. many of which are japanese and will be keeping track of the likes of toshiba, for instance, which makes the flash memory chip and also asahi glass which also helps to make some of the touch screens for the iphone and for the ipad. so a couple of stocks there. but many others as well. we'll keep track on all of those. following the rally in europe, european indexes, we did see the gains for the euro as well. markets sidestepping some of the political issues in the netherlands and the french elections as well. but looking at the levels now on the screen. 81.45-47 dollar/yen. but euro/yen, 107. the euro has gained and markets
coming back a touch after some of the concerns yesterday. ai? >> ramin, still a big focus on central banks and some key data as well. >> yeah, definitely. of course, we've been talking about the federal reserve meeting at the federal open market committee which wraps up today and a lot of going to be on fed chairman bernanke. not a lot is expected in the sense of any changes to the monetary policy but market players and economists will be watching out for any changing in slight of the wording of his statement with regards to the u.s. economy. so we'll keep track of that. but also durable goods orders for march. a key economic data for the u.s. economy which gives some guidance as to the health of the u.s. consumer. that's going to be focused. but really following on from apple. apple earnings, ai, we're going to follow through on any tech-related shares and also, of course, we're going to get market direction when the u.s. markets come back online
tomorrow. and they'll be trading off the apple earnings as well. so big focus may be on the tech sector going forward. back to you. >> sounds good, ramin. both tokyo indexes up 1% on the day. ramin mellegard, thank you very much, from the tokyo stock exchange. in in other news, japan's finance minister and the head of the organization of economic cooperation and development have agreed that japan needs to reduce its fiscal deficit. japan has the highest debt ratio among industrialized countries. finance minister azumi and angel guria met in toke you on tuesday. he expressed support for japan's plan to double the consumption tax from the current 5% to 10% by 2015. he also urged japan to carry out fiscal reforms to cut its huge public debt. azumi said the government will raise income and other taxes to finance reconstruction projects for areas hit by last year's
earthquake and tsunami. he said raising taxes will enable japan to implement these projects without issuing debt-covering bonds. azumi also said the government will use the added revenue to cover ballooning social security costs. more business stories for you next hour. i will leave you with the latest market figures. let's go to rachel ferguson with your world weather update.
>> we've been talking about some heavy rain impacting eastern china. just in the last 24 hours, 150 millimeters of rain fell in parts of gianxhi province. a couple of systems are going to be heading over the korean peninsula into southern japan from this morning. ahead of that system, the rest of japan will be staying fairly dry, but it will be cloudy. and from thursday, we'll see that rain, the thunder and gusts accompanying it spreading across much of the country. now in behind that system, things are finally clearing up for eastern china. however, this front will be left over down across the southeastern coast. so more heavy rain to come in the next 24 hours as well as those thunderstorms. in hong kong, you'll be getting some of that today. 28 degrees for your high. a bit further south through indochin ark mostly very dry and very hot at the moment. 38 degrees for you in bangkok on wednesday. further up towards the north, 11 degrees in ulaambatur.
in seoul, that system coming through and it will be bringing the temperature down. so just about average for this time of year but it is about ten degrees cooler than it was yesterday. okay. as we head into north america, we're going to be seeing some severe weather erupting throughout the intermountain west. and as the system heads down toward the southeast into the ohio valley as well, some severe thunderstorms are on the cards on your wednesday. heavy rain is impacting an area right down the coast from bc to southern california. this will continue for the next couple of days and up the risk of localized flooding. not only that but cooler air coming in. we'll see a return of snow to the sierra nevada. so significant late season snow here. out towards the east, we've got that slow moving winter storm system still impacting parts of new england with a mixture of rain and snow further east. it's going to be yet another day of heavy rain for the canadian
maritimes. toronto, a bit of an improvement now. 15 degrees for the high. 15 also in new york city and 20 in d.c. these temperatures are just about average for you, but there is going to be an arc of heat coming up through -- towards the central plains here. so we have 28 degrees in denver. yesterday, record-breaking temperature for you. 29 degrees. so it's another hot day for you today. 31 in oklahoma city and 29 in houston. meanwhile, temperatures coming down a little bit towards the northwest at just 16 for you in seattle and 13 in vancouver. okay. into europe. not much of a change here. in fact, we have one band of rain heading towards the east. dissipating as it goes, but hot on its heels is yet another powerful system. this one once again going to be impacting the british isles, france and down in towards iberia. in fact, this band of rain coming up through portugal into germany is where we're going to be finding the heaviest of the rain. london, another day of heavy rain for you as well. 12 degrees.
it's going to feel a bit chilly with the rain coming in. as we head in towards central locations, the temperatures start to rise. 18 degrees in vienna. out to the east, 20 in moscow. 17 in warsaw and 22 in kiev. these temperatures will persist. we'll see the digits go up by a couple of degrees. kiev reaching 25 degrees on friday, which is just like midsummer. i'll leave you now with your extended forecast.