The six-party talks' original three-day schedule came and went
with no agreement but proceedings were given a ray of hope by a
decision to extend them for another day.
The spokesman for the Chinese delegation, Qin Gang, announced
that all parties involved are working to resolve the issue of
Pyongyang's money frozen in a Macao bank - a major sticking point
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has reiterated
that no further negotiations will take place until the money is
received, chief Russian negotiator Alexander Losyukov said
The United States on Monday had wholly agreed to transfer the
DPRK's US$25 million frozen at Banco Delta Asia (BDA) to a DPRK
account at Bank of China (BOC) in Beijing. However, Losyukov
revealed that BOC had refused to accept the transfer due to
technical problems, a fact later confirmed by Qin.
The Macau Monetary Authority had announced two days ago the
management of Pyongyang's accounts in BDA "according to the
instructions of the account holders". However, South Korean news
agency Yonhap reported delays to the transfer had come from the
Macao authority being unable to confirm the ownership of around 50
Chief US negotiator Christopher Hill earlier lamented the
current sluggish pace of the talks but remained outwardly confident
that the BDA issue would soon be resolved.
Hill stated that the US and DPRK delegations had held a
bilateral meeting on the bank account and denuclearization issues
The scheduled three-day session that started on Monday had
intended to focus on implementing a landmark February 13 deal,
which would see the DPRK close down its nuclear facilities within
60 days in exchange for receiving economic aid and security
However talks stalled on Tuesday with the DPRK announcing a
boycott on multi-lateral discussions until the frozen funds were
transferred to BOC.
Hill said this had been upsetting but added he was confident
that the DPRK was still committed to the February agreement.
"We've got more than three weeks to go until the February 13
deadline, so I do believe that we can get there with all the
commitments in the 60 days."
(China Daily March 22, 2007)