Kyodo news summary -10-.
---------- European Union seeks observer status in E. Asia Summit
VIENTIANE - The European Union on Thursday asked the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations if it could join the first East Asia Summit in Kuala Lumpur this December as an observer.
''As a long-term dialogue partner of ASEAN, the EU has a strong interest in the East Asia Summit in Malaysia,'' Javier Solana, EU high representative for common foreign security policy, told ASEAN foreign ministers in talks in the capital of Laos.
---------- IRA pledges to end armed campaign
LONDON - The Irish Republican Army announced Thursday that it has ordered its members to end the armed campaign against British rule in Northern Ireland.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair welcomed the move as a step of ''unparalleled magnitude'' in the recent history of Northern Ireland and said the disposal of IRA weapons must take place as soon as possible, according to the Associated Press.
---------- Another round of 6-party nuclear talks necessary: Russian chief delegate
BEIJING - Russia's chief delegate to six-party nuclear talks said Thursday the six countries should hold another round of talks within several months as no major progress is in sight during the current round.
The 10-member Russian delegation foresees ''nothing sensational'' for the fourth round of talks being held in Beijing to help denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Alexeyev said in a press conference.
---------- Myanmar foreign minister protests U.S. use of name 'Burma'
VIENTIANE - Myanmar Foreign Minister Nyan Win complained Thursday over the U.S. insistence of calling his country ''Burma'' instead of ''Myanmar'' as the ruling junta renamed it more than a decade ago, according to ASEAN senior officials.
''We request our U.S. friend to call our country's official name as 'Myanmar' not 'Burma' because it has been changed for long time ago,'' Nyan Win was quoted as saying in a meeting between the foreign ministers of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick.
---------- Independent journalist wins JCJ grand prize
TOKYO - The Japan Congress of Journalists decided Thursday to award its grand prize this year to independent journalist Takeharu Watai, 34, for his documentary film and reports on the Iraq war.
Watai produced a film ''Little Birds'' depicting the daily lives of Iraqi people following the launch of the U.S.-led war in the country in March 2003.
---------- 1 dead, 50 injured in train bomb blast in India
NEW DELHI - At least one person was killed and 50 others injured Thursday evening in a bomb blast on a passenger train heading to New Delhi from the eastern Indian city of Patna, the Press Trust of India reported.
The blast occurred around 5:25 p.m. in the toilet of a compartment of the Shramjeevi Express between Jaunpur and Sultanpur stations in Uttar Pradesh state, the PTI report said.
---------- Machimura meets Rice over G-4's U.N. reform proposal
WASHINGTON - Japanese Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura met with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Thursday in Washington, seeking help to push forward a U.N. resolution by Japan, Brazil, Germany and India to enlarge the Security Council.
The United States has already expressed its opposition to the reform plan the so-called Group of Four presented at the General Assembly.
---------- Japan denies report of planned talks with N. Korea in Beijing
BEIJING - Japan's chief delegate to the six-party nuclear talks taking place in Beijing denied a media report Thursday that he and his North Korean counterpart have agreed to hold talks at ''an appropriate time.''
''There is no such thing,'' said Kenichiro Sasae, director general of the Japanese Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, when asked about the report by China's state-run Xinhua News Agency.
---------- Death toll from Indian oil platform fire rises to 12
NEW DELHI - The death toll from a fire at an oil platform off the Mumbai coast has risen to 12 with 15 people still reported missing, the Press Trust of India reported Thursday.
The fire accident occurred Wednesday at the Oil and Natural Gas Corp.'s Bombay High North platform in India's biggest oil field in the Arabian Sea, some 160 kilometers from the financial hub of Mumbai.
---------- 6 nations working to draft document but finish line still far off
BEIJING - The top U.S. delegate to multilateral nuclear talks in Beijing voiced hope Thursday that the six nations involved will begin drafting a document within 24 hours for adoption at the end of the talks, but Japanese and Chinese officials said it is too early to speak of drafting one.
''We'd like to see if we can get to some six-party drafting in the next, say, 24 hours,'' U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Christopher Hill told reporters on the third day of the fourth round of the multilateral talks.
---------- Ship with about 50 people aboard capsizes off Kanagawa Pref.
YOKOHAMA - A ship capsized off Manatsuru port in the town of Manatsuru, Kanagawa Prefecture, on Thursday evening, police said.
Some 50 people are believed to have been aboard the vessel, they said, adding they are now confirming if all of them have been safely accounted for.