April 14, 2007 -- Today is the deadline for North Korea to shut down its main nuclear reactor under a February 13 six-party denuclearization agreement.
The move was meant to be North Korea's first step toward giving up its nuclear weapons program in return for energy aid and better relations with the United States.
But Pyongyang has so far refused to close and seal its Yongbyon reactor until it gets back $25 million frozen at a Macau bank.
North Korea said on April 13 it would soon check if it can access the money that the United States says has been unblocked.
The history of negotiations with North Korea has been tortuous and full of setbacks.
Back in 1994, North Korea made a deal with the United States under which it promised to shut down its nuclear reactor, which could be used to produce weapons-grade plutonium, in exchange for a civilian light-water reactor and economic aid from Washington.
But in 2002, Pyongyang announced it had resumed its nuclear program. It subsequently expelled IAEA inspectors from the country and said it had managed to produce a nuclear weapon.
(compiled from agency reports)