December 14, 1991 – After spending a considerable amount of time negotiating a non-aggression pact between North Korea and South Korea, and signing the pact only the day before; word came out that, in fact North Korea had been and was continuing work on a nuclear program. Hoping it wouldn’t be part of the negotiations, South Korea insisted the program be scrapped or else the recently signed pact would be considered null and void. North Korea steadfastly refused to consider the proposal and the much anticipated pact between the two Koreas was in jeopardy of becoming just another piece of useless paper.
In other news – former East German Communist party boss Erich Honecker was now homeless, but living in the Moscow residence of the Chilean Ambassador, trying to avoid extradition to Germany to stand trial. He was wanted in Germany on manslaughter charges, stemming from his shoot-to-kill policy at the Berlin Wall. Honecker sought permission to go to Chile where his daughter lived, but Chilean officials said they wouldn’t grant him asylum. In the meantime, North Korea has offered to let Honecker travel there to receive medical treatment. But German authorities say Boris Yeltsin‘s government has assured them he won’t be allowed to go to any third country. The Russian government clearly wanted to avoid straining relations with Germany. And with Honecker’s fate in Russia’s hands, the search for a diplomatic solution continued.
Secretary of State Baker was set to leave for Moscow later on this evening to see for himself how Boris Yeltsin’s new commonwealth was shaping up, as a replacement for Mikhail Gorbachev‘s fast-fading Soviet Union. The U.S. had been taking a hands-off attitude toward the Soviet political makeover, but hopes the hands that control the Soviet nuclear button will be steady ones.
And that’s a small slice of what happened on this December 14, 1991, as reported by The CBS World News Roundup.