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Bush Won’t Tolerate Counterfeiting

Posted January. 07, 2006 03:00,   


Condoleezza Rice, U.S. Secretary of State, referred to North Korea as “a dangerous regime” on Thursday. She also said the U.S. sanctions against the North’s illicit activities, including the forging of U.S. currency, reflect the commitment of President George W. Bush.

At a breakfast meeting with State Department correspondents on Thursday, she reiterated the president’s commitment “not to tolerate North Korea’s attempts to fake U.S. currency.” She added, “We faced little resistance to our efforts to restrain the North’s illegal activities.”

Her remarks are viewed as a reaffirmation of the U.S.’s stance that it will not accept the North’s demands for lifting financial sanctions as a condition for returning to the six-party talks.

When asked by correspondents, “Don’t you think that isolation of the North can make the hermit kingdom more dangerous,” she firmly answered, “The isolation of North Korea was not a result of the U.S. policy but a decision of its own.”

She added, “The fact that North Korea is a dangerous regime should not mislead you about the situation on the Korean peninsula. We retain significant deterrents to the North’s activities.”

She continued, “If the communist regime opens up more and commits to denuclearization, it will face a completely different situation.”

In the meantime, the financial crime squad of the U.S. Ministry of Finance reportedly plans to visit Korea on January 22 or 23 to coordinate views with the South Korean government on the counterfeit currency issue.

In connection with this, Yonhap News reported that a source from the ministry had said that four to five members of the squad are scheduled to visit Macao, South Korea and Hong Kong.

Soon-Taek Kwon maypole@donga.com