US shuts out N Korea-linked bank

Macau regulators may be able to release millions of dollars in frozen accounts.

    The US has been investigating
    Banco Delta Asia for 18 months [EPA]

    For more than a year, Pyongyang boycotted six-party talks for nuclear disarmament after Macau regulators froze $24 million in its accounts in the Banco Delta Asia.

    For the past 18 months, the US treasury department has been investigating the institution on charges that it had been accepting proceeds from the North's counterfeiting, drug-smuggling and money-laundering activities for years.

    Last month, Pyongyang agreed to take the first step towards dismantling its weapons programme by shutting down the main reactor and re-admitting UN nuclear inspectors.

    In return, it has been promised economic aid and political concessions.

    But South Korea says the North has shown no signs of closing its nuclear complex, the source of its weapons-grade plutonium, since the pact was sealed in Beijing among six nations.

    Song Min-soon, South Korea's foreign minister, said on Thursday: "There is no indication of a change in the operational condition of Yongbyon."

    Some US officials earlier this week said they saw signs that North Korea was moving towards closing its nuclear complex but others thought it was still too early to tell.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    A relatively new independence and fresh waves of conflict inspire a South Sudanese refugee to build antiwar video games.