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U.S. Won’t Back Restraint Over North

Posted September. 16, 2006 03:50,   


It is reported that the U.S. has, in fact, declined to endorse Seoul’s call for duly restrained measures against Pyongyang ahead of the summit talks in Washington on September 14 (local time).

A member of the Korean working group who accompanied President Roh to Washington reportedly conveyed the idea to the U.S. counterpart “to deal with the sanctions against North Korea carefully in order to keep the peaceful mood created by the Korea-U.S. summit meeting.” Notwithstanding, Washington responded, “We fully understand Korea’s opinion, but sanctions are available any time if necessary.”

In addition, Roh reportedly started discussing the financial sanctions on North Korea’s bank account in a Macao-based bank, the Banco Delta Asia (BDA), at a meeting with U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson on September 13, and added he hoped that U.S. financial sanctions will not dampen the international efforts for the six-pare talks. In response, Paulson answered that “it is a (U.S.) lawful measure, and law enforcement and sanctions are two different things.”

Meanwhile, Song Min-soon, South Korea’s presidential chief advisor for National Security and Foreign Affairs, said that at the summit talks with President Bush, Roh did not mention U.S. financial sanctions.

In July 2006, the U.S. Treasury Department launched an investigation into North Korea’s international black money transaction, especially with Southeast Asian countries through BDA and has tracked down some evidence.

Aside from the bank records in Southeast Asia, the Treasury Department allegedly has found some clues of North Korea’s illegal cash-out from other international bank accounts linked to the BDA account to trade weapons and to laundry money.

Meanwhile, Cheon Yeong-woo, Korean chief negotiator for peace and top nuclear envoy, is set to consult with his U.S. counterpart, Christopher Hill, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and the Pacific and chief nuclear negotiator. They will discuss the “common and comprehensive approach” agreed upon in the summit talks to induce Pyongyang to six-party talks, and other subsequent measures some time next week in New York.