DPRK funds transferred: Russian bank

UPDATED: 18:30, June 25, 2007

Funds of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) defrozen from a Macao-based bank have been transferred into a DPRK bank on Monday, removing a major obstacle for a multi-national talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue.

The 25-million-U.S.-dollar assets have been remitted to the Foreign Trade Bank of DPRK on Monday, two days after they arrived at the Russian Dalkombank, the Russian bank said in its official website.

The funds were freed and transferred from the Macao-based Banco Delta Asia to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and then Russian Central Bank earlier this month. They were finally transferred to the DPRK Foreign Trade Bank via the Russian Dalkombank, where DPRK has accounts.

The DPRK said on June 16 that it had invited inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to discuss shutting down the Yongbyon reactor, as required under an accord reached in China on Feb. 13.

Under the February deal, the DPRK was supposed to shut down the reactor within 60 days in exchange for some 50,000 tons of heavy fuel oil or equivalent energy aid.

The DPRK funds were frozen after the United States blacklisted the Macao bank in 2005 for allegedly helping Pyongyang launder money, which the bank has denied. Pyongyang denied the charge as well.

The DPRK has insisted that its assets must be returned before it shuts down its Yongbyon nuclear reactor and starts new talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue.

The six-party nuclear talks involve DPRK, the United States, China, Russia, South Korea and Japan.

Source: Xinhua

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