Envoy Calls for North Korea to Begin Disarming
top U.S. nuclear envoy is urging North Korea to start
its nuclear program, saying that a financial dispute that
delayed the disarmament process
has now been resolved.
Secretary of State Christopher Hill was speaking in Seoul Wednesday
after the U.S. State Department announced that authorities in Macau had unblocked
frozen North Korean bank accounts.
the six-parties involved in the nuclear talks are now at an "important juncture" and
that it is time for North Korea to begin shutting down its
under terms of a disarmament deal reached in February.
The agreement requires that North Korea shut down the Yongbyon
reactor complex by Saturday.
North Korea had refused to shut down the facility until it received
$25 million in funds frozen at the Macau bank.
Macau authorities froze the North Korean funds in 2005 after
the United States accused the bank of laundering money for North
Hill had previously said he thought it would be difficult for
Pyongyang to meet the deadline because of delays in resolving
the financial dispute.
A six-nation deal reached in February to shut down the nuclear
reactor in exchange for fuel and diplomatic incentives has been
held up over the frozen bank accounts.