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New six-party talks begin as DPRK, U.S. resolve frozen funds issue
www.chinaview.cn 2007-03-19 23:16:33
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Special Report: The sixth round of six-party talks

‘€"We are still faced with a lot of difficulties," top Chinese negotiator Wu Dawei said.
‘€The United States and DPRK had reached an understanding on the issue of frozen funds.
‘€"The DPRK will shut down its nuclear facilities in Yongbyon if its funds are fully released."

    BEIJING, March 19 (Xinhua) -- The six parties to the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue talks began a new round of talks in Beijing on Monday with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the United States resolving the issue of 25 million U.S. dollars frozen in a bank in Macau.

    "We are still faced with a lot of difficulties and obstacles on the road ahead," top Chinese negotiator Wu Dawei said in his opening address before the closed-door talks in the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse.

Negotiators from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the Republic of Korea, Japan, Russia, China and the United States start the sixth round of six-party talks in Beijing, capital of China on March 19, 2007. The six-party talks working group on the de-nuclearization of the Korean Peninsula began its sixth round in Beijing on Monday.(Xinhua Photo)
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    As the chair of the six-party talks, Wu said the session would review the progress of five related work group meetings and discuss the specific steps for the DPRK to shut down its Yongbyon nuclear reactor.

    Wu called on all parties to take part in the talks with "a flexible, pragmatic and constructive approach and make positive contributions".

    "The current session will run about three days," Wu said.

    Earlier on Monday, the U.S. Deputy Assistant Treasury Secretary Daniel Glaser said the United States and DPRK had reached an understanding on the issue of frozen funds.

    "The DPRK has proposed the transfer of the 25 million U.S. dollars frozen in the Banco Delta Asia (BDA) into an account held by DPRK's Foreign Trade Bank at the Bank of China in Beijing," Glaser said.

    "We believe this resolves the issue of the DPRK-related frozen funds," he concluded.

    In September 2005, the U.S. Treasury Department, suspecting the BDA of helping the DPRK launder money, ordered American financial institutions to suspend business ties with the Macao-based bank, which subsequently froze the U.S. dollar accounts held by the DPRK.

    Rejecting the charge, the DPRK demanded the U.S. lift the financial sanctions before it could return to the six-party talks, which remained stalled for 13 months since the end of 2005.

    As part of the nuclear deal reached during the last round of talks in Beijing on Feb. 13, the United States agreed to settle the financial dispute with the DPRK within 30 days.

    "The DPRK will shut down its nuclear facilities in Yongbyon if its funds are fully released," the top DPRK envoy Kim Kye-Gwan told the chief envoys' meeting on Monday morning.

    "With the BDA issue resolved, there should be no major obstacles to implementing the measures to shut down the DPRK's nuclear facilities within the 60-day deadline," said the ROK envoy Chun Yung-woo.

    "I think tomorrow the focus will turn to the completion of the tasks within the 60 days," chief U.S. envoy Christopher Hill said at his hotel on Monday evening.

    Hill also said that the DPRK needed to do more to address its relationship with Japan.

    A Japan-DPRK meeting took place in Hanoi early March without achieving any breakthrough in resolving outstanding issues preventing the two countries from normalizing relations.

    Japan's envoy Kenichiro Sasae said in the chief envoys' meeting that Japan would try to implement the initial steps quickly, adding that parties should start thinking about measures in the second stage.  

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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