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US Negotiator in Beijing to Settle DPRK Funds Stalemate
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Top US negotiator Christopher Hill arrived Wednesday morning in Beijing, saying it is time to resolve the dispute over the frozen funds of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

He made the remarks before leaving his hotel for a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wu Dawei.

"I assume we are going to talk about...trying to see... if we could come closer on the BDA (Macao-based Banco Delta Asia) matter," the US chief negotiator said.

"It proves to be very difficult for any bank to move the money because of various legal issues," he added.

Hill is scheduled to meet with Wu Dawei and other officials of the Chinese Foreign Ministry later Wednesday. He will leave the Chinese capital on Thursday, according to the US embassy.

Under an agreement adopted by the six parties during their latest talks on Feb. 13, the DPRK was supposed to shut down and seal the Yongbyon facilities within 60 days in exchange for 50,000 tons of heavy fuel oil or equivalent aid.

The DPRK, which missed the April 14 deadline, insisted that its US$25 million frozen at the BDA must be returned before closing the Yongbyon nuclear reactor and starting new negotiations.

Hill said he had been in touch with the Chinese side in the last few weeks, adding "it's time to sit down where we are" and try to resolve the funds issue.

The US top nuclear negotiator said he is waiting for the schedule to be operated, referring to DPRK's shutting down of major nuclear facilities.

(Xinhua News Agency May 30, 2007)

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