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U.S. May Release N. Korean Funds

Posted January. 29, 2007 04:43,   


A working level meeting between the U.S. and North Korea will be held in Beijing, China on January 30 to address the issue of frozen North Korean accounts at Banco Delta Asia (BDA) in Macau, and six-party talks on the North Korean nuclear program will resume on February 8.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes Daniel Glaser at the U.S. Treasury Department announced on January 26 that he would meet North Korean officials in Beijing on January 30 and discuss financial sanction issues to continue their talks last month. U.S. representatives at the working level meeting as well as Deputy Assistant Secretary Glaser arrived in Beijing on January 28.

Mr. Glaser said, “I will explain to North Korea the international standards required as a responsible member of the international financial world, and measures taken by the U.S. to stand against illegal financial flows.”

Meanwhile, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso said regarding the resumption timing of the six-party talks on January 28, “North Korea keeps talking about February 8. If the U.S. accepts it, the talks will resume on February 8. The date will be confirmed on January 29.”

The six-way talks of last month ended without progress after North Korea demanded an end to the freeze on its BDA accounts as a precondition for discussion on nuclear issues, but the coming six-party talks suggest the possibility of a compromise, as North Korea signaled freezing part of its operations at its nuclear facilities while discussion on releasing 2.4 million dollars from frozen BDA accounts continues within the U.S. administration.

A source in Washington said, “As there are strong voices in the Treasury Department opposing the State Department’s request to release part of the frozen BDA money, I understand that the U.S. has taken the stance of deciding its future step after watching how North Korea responds to the U.S. demand that North Korea stop its nuclear activity first.”

The U.S. may ask North Korea to present a timetable for a formal halt to operations at its 5MW nuclear reactor in Yonbon, Pyeongbuk Province after the talks resume.

Meanwhile, the Yomiuri Shimbun of Japan, citing a source within the U.S. Congress, reported that the U.S. is reviewing whether to release 1.3 million dollars out of North Korea’s 2.4 million dollars in frozen BDA funds.