April 2013 Current Events: World News
Here are the key events in world news for the month of April 2013.
North Korea's Kim Jong-un Defies Warnings (Apr. 1): Despite stiffer sanctions from the UN, Kim Jong-un announces plans to expand North Korea's nuclear weapons and strengthen the country's economy. His plans defy warnings from the United States that North Korea needs to abandon its nuclear weapons arsenal. Kim prohibits South Korean workers from entering the Kaesong industrial park, which is run jointly by the two countries and is located in North Korea. (Apr. 3): At a rare plenary meeting of the Central Committee, Kim says North Korea will continue to develop its nuclear weapons program despite sanctions and restart the mothballed nuclear facility in Yongbyon. (Apr. 4): The U.S. announces it is deploying a missile defense system to Guam as a precautionary move. The deployment is two years ahead of schedule. (Apr. 5): South Korea reports that North Korea now has a missile within range of its coast, but the missile cannot reach the United States.
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad Resigns (Apr. 13): Prime Minister Salam Fayyad resigns in Palestine amid infighting among the top echelon of the Palestinian Authority and popular discontent. Fayyad is credited with cracking down on corruption in the West Bank, improving infrastructure, and boosting the economy, which resulted in an increase in international aid. It is unclear how Fayyad's resignation would affect the reconciliation of Fatah and Hamas.
Special Election Held to Replace Chavez (Apr. 14): A special presidential election is held to pick Hugo Chavez's successor in Venezuela. Nicolás Maduro wins by a slim margin. Maduro receives 50.8 percent of the vote. Henrique Capriles Radonski, who recently lost to Chavez in the October 2012 election, is close behind with 49 percent. (Apr. 19): Maduro assumes office. Meanwhile, the opposition questions the constitutionality of his election. In naming his cabinet, Maduro keeps Elias Jaua on as foreign minister and Diego Molero as defense minister. Jaua and Molero served in the same roles under Chavez.
Syria Faces Chemical Weapon Allegations (Apr. 18): Diplomats from both Britain and France report to the United Nations that there is credible information that the government in Syria has used chemical weapons recently in its civil war. According to both diplomats, the Syrian government has used chemical weapons multiple times since December 2012. Officials from Israel also say they have evidence that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons. President Obama has said that the use of chemical weapons by Syria's government could lead to a military response by the United States. The U.S. is currently looking into the various claims.
France Becomes 14th Nation to Approve Same-Sex Marriage (Apr. 23): The lower house in France's National Assembly votes 331 to 225 in favor of same-sex marriage. The legislation is expected to be approved by the Constitutional Council and signed into law by President François Hollande. The vote makes France the 14th nation in the world to pass legislation for same-sex marriage. Uruguay and New Zealand have also both recently passed same-sex marriage legislation.