The United States has funneled millions even billions of U.S. dollars to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) over the past decade, The Washington Post reported Sunday.
Over the past six months, the Bush administration has repeatedly criticized the U.N. Development Program for channeling millions of dollars in hard currency into the DPRK to finance the agency's programs, warning that the money might be diverted to Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program.
However, the leading U.S. newspaper said, Washington has in the past 10 years paid more than 20 million dollars in cash for the remains of 229 U.S. soldiers from the Korean War.
Since 1995, the United States has provided the DPRK with more than one billion dollars worth of food and fuel, hoping to stall famine and restrain Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions, according to the report.
In an effort to promote diplomatic contacts between the two countries, the Energy Department has channeled money to U.S. nonprofit agencies and universities, including a one-million-dollar grant to the Atlantic Council to cover travel costs for informal talks between diplomats from the two sides.
In a bid to advance nuclear talks, the Bush administration recently transferred to Pyongyang about 25 million dollars in cash that the Treasure Department had frozen at Banco Delta Asia, a Macao-based bank that the U.S. had accused of laundering counterfeit U.S. currency on behalf of the DPRK, a charge that Pyongyang denies.