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March 15, 2007 -- The United States says the end of a U.S. investigation into North Korean banking activities clears the way for progress on Pyongyang's disarmament.
The March 14 action by the U.S. Treasury Department was sought by Pyongyang as part of last month's nuclear arms deal, under which the North agreed to begin dismantling its nuclear program in return for energy and other aid.
The bank move could lead to the release of North Korean accounts frozen in a Macau bank, Banco Delta Asia, that Washington accused of helping Pyongyang launder money.
Christopher Hill, the chief U.S. envoy to talks on the North's program, said talks were still needed on the bank, but that the United States had "fullfilled what we need to do."
China, which controls the gambling enclave of Macau, said it regretted the Treasury Department's action.
(Reuters, AP, AFP)