Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta, far right, escorts Afghanistan's Minister of National Defense Abdul Rahim Wardak (center) and Minister of Interior Gen. Bismillah Khan Mohammadi (left) in the Pentagon.
The bulk of the U.S. military force in Afghanistan is slated to leave the country by 2014. But the Pentagon is willing to keep some Americans there to train Afghan forces, according to a report by NPR's Tom Bowman.
Here's Tom's report for NPR's Newscast:
"Afghan Defense Minister Adbul Rahim Wardak says his country is looking for an enduring long-term relationship with the United States. And part of the relationship centers on training and equipping Afghan soldiers and police."
A North Korean soldier stands guard in front of the Unha-3 (Milky Way 3) rocket on a launchpad at the West Sea Satellite Launch Site, during a guided media tour by North Korean authorities northwest of Pyongyang on April 8.
Credit Kim Kwang Hon / AP
Mosaics of the two late North Korean leaders — Kim Jong Il (right) and Kim Il Sung, the country's founder — are unveiled Monday during celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of Kim Il Sung's birth, in Pyongyang, North Korea.
Credit Pedro Ugarte / AFP/Getty Images
North Koreans in Pyongyang rehearse for the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Kim Il Sung's birth on April 15.
As North Korea gears up to launch a long-range rocket, political changes are afoot, too: Pyongyang has consolidated its succession process, giving a new title to its new leader, Kim Jong Un, who came to power in December after his father's death.
The rocket launch, which could come as early as Thursday in North Korea, has been condemned by the international community as being in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions. So why now?