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US Clears Way for Lifting of DPRK Financial Sanctions
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The US Treasury Department rolled out on Wednesday its plan to resolve the financial dispute with North Korea by maintaining that all US financial institutions are hereafter banned from dealing with the Macao-based Banco Delta Asia (BDA).

"When it takes effect in 30 days, this action will see all US financial institutions prohibited from maintaining correspondent accounts with BDA and prevents BDA from using the US financial system in any manner," the Treasury Department said in a statement.

This move will allow North Korea to recover a portion of the US$25 million currently frozen in the Macao bank.

A cornerstone of the nuclear deal reached during the six-party talks in Beijing on Feb. 13, this will be a major boon for the North Koreans. The United States' sanctions stemmed from accusations that North Korea had used the bank to launder illegal earnings.
The United States slapped sanctions on Banco Delta Asia back in 2005, placing it on a money-laundering blacklist, and forcing Macao to freeze some US$25 million believed to belong to North Korea. This led to North Korea installing a boycott on the subsequent six-party talks for over a year.

(Xinhua News Agency, China Daily via agencies March 15, 2007)

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