Bush holds news conference amid questions about North Korea

President George W. Bush faced questions Wednesday about North Korea's claimed nuclear test and the political fallout from the congressional intern scandal.

Four weeks before the Nov. 7 elections, Bush was to hold a news conference in the Rose Garden of the White House. He was expected to open with an update on the war in Iraq and remarks about North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

The news conference comes as the United Nations is weighing sanctions against North Korea for its reported test. The United States, Britain and France are seeking a resolution under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter, which makes sanctions mandatory and opens the possibility of military enforcement.

North Korea's reported test has quickly turned into a political issue, with Democrats accusing Bush of pursuing a failed national security policy and Republicans saying the Clinton administration weakened the U.S. position by negotiating with North Korea during the 1990s.

Another major subject facing Bush was the investigation into former Rep. Mark Foley's relationship with teenage congressional interns or pages and the House of Representatives' handling of warnings about the Florida Republican's conduct, reports AP.

Opinion polls show the scandal has already harmed Bush's party, which controls both the House of Representatives and the Senate, and has boosted the opposition Democrats' chances of taking control of the 435-seat House.

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