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DPRK money transferred into Russian bank

Updated: 2007-06-23 19:32
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MOSCOW,-- Funds of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) defrozen from a Macao-based bank have been transferred into a Russian bank where it has accounts, Russian news agencies reported on June 23.

The expected 25 million U.S. dollars have been put into DPRK accounts at the Dalcombank based in Russia's Far Eastern city of Khabarovsk, Itar-Tass and Interfax cited sources from the Russian Finance Ministry.

The DPRK said last Saturday 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 February 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 aid.

Pyongyang, however, insisted that its 25 million dollars frozen at the Banco Delta Asia must be returned before closing the Yongbyon nuclear reactor and starting new negotiations.

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

Pyongyang denied the charge as well.