The corruption trial of Taiwan's former president, Chen Shui-bian, has got under way in the capital, Taipei. Chen, and his wife Wu Shu-chen and 12 others, are facing a series of corruption charges including bribery, embezzlement, money-laundering and extortion. If found guilty, Chen could be jailed for life. Chen has denied all charges, saying they are politically motivated. In February, his wife pleaded guilty to accepting over two million dollars from a businessman to seal a lucrative land deal, but she said it was a political donation and not a bribe. Chen has been an outspoken critic of the China-friendly policies of the government that succeeded him last year.
North Korea warns against UN sanctions over rocket launch
North Korea has warned that any UN sanctions as a result of its upcoming satellite launch would be viewed as "a hostile action", and would cause the breakdown of the six nation nuclear disarmament talks. The US, South Korea and Japan suspect that the long range rocket on North Korea's East Coast launch pad is not a commercial satellite, but rather a disguised missile test. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned of consequences if Pyongyang went ahead with its plan to fire a missile. The rocket is believed to be a long-range Taepo-dong 2. North Korea has given international agencies notice of the rocket's planned trajectory, which would take it over Japan. Analysts said the notice was given to help the North argue the rocket launch does not violate UN sanctions put in place after it test-launched a series of missiles in 2006.