Beijing -- The six-party talks would go into recess, a diplomatic source
close to the talks said Thursday afternoon, asking not to reveal his name and
North Korean nuclear envoy Kim Kye-gwan (L) waves as he
leaves from Beijing airport March 22, 2007. Talks on North Korea's nuclear
programme ground to a halt in Beijing on Thursday, with the North Korean
and Russian envoys both leaving for the airport after four days of
negotiations went nowhere. [Reuters]
The six parties will meet around 5 p.m. and annouce recess
of the meeting, the source said.
It is also reported that chief Russian
envoy Alexander Losyukov and chief envoy of Democratic People's Republic of
Korea (DPRK) left Beijing Thursday afternoon.
North Korean chief nuclear envoy Kim Kye Gwan went to Beijing's airport
Thursday for a flight home after a breakdown in talks on disarming Pyongyang's
Kim had refused to take part in
the six-party talks held this week on ways to push forward a February agreement
on North Korea giving up its nuclear program in return for energy aid because of
problems over the transfer of North Korean funds frozen in a Macau bank.
Kim waved to
reporters when he arrived at the airport but did not say anything.
The talks had foundered Tuesday due to the dispute over $25 million that has
been frozen since 2005 in a Macau lender, Banco Delta Asia, under pressure from
the United States.
US officials announced this week that the money would be transferred to the
North Koreans, saying it was up to the Monetary Authority of Macau, a Chinese
territory, to release the funds.
China had promised to resolve the issue as quickly as possible, with the
funds to be transferred to a North Korean account at a Beijing bank.
Various reasons have been given for the delay. A Japanese government
official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the
talks, said the receiving bank, the Bank of China, was reluctant to accept money
that has been the focus of investigations.
South Korea's Yonhap news agency said the money transfer was being delayed
because Macau authorities were having difficulty confirming the ownership of 50
North Korean accounts, most of which are under the names of the heads of Zokwang
Trading Co., a North Korean-run firm in Macau that US officials have long
suspected of being involved in money laundering.
A woman from publicity department at the Bank of China, who would not give
her name, said she had no information about the BDA issue at the moment.
Chief US envoy Christopher Hill had said earlier Thursday that the Chinese
side had "made some progress" on getting the money cleared but did not give
details or say when the money would arrive.