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U.S. Ends Bank Probe To Smooth North Korea Deal


(RFE/RL) 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)
The Proliferation Threat

The Arak heavy-water plant in central Iran (Fars)

BENDING THE RULES. Henry Sokolski, executive director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, told an RFE/RL-Radio Free Asia briefing on January 9 that the West is hamstrung in dealing with Iran and North Korea because of the way it has interpreted the international nonproliferation regime to benefit friendly countries like India and Japan.


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