Fresh six-way talks aimed at dismantling North Korea’s nuclear programme have got underway in Beijing, after a dispute over 19 million euros in frozen funds was resolved. The US blacklisted a Macau bank account, claiming Pyongyang used it to launder money. But now Washington has agreed to hand the sum over. “North Korea has pledged, within the framework of the six party talks, that these funds will be used solely for the betterment of the North Korean people, including for humanitarian and educational purposes. We believe this resolves the issue of the DPRK-related frozen funds,” said a US Treasury official.
The February disarmament deal gave North Korea 60 days to shut down its main reactor and processing plant and allow in UN inspectors. In return, Pyongyang will receive energy and economic assistance as well as help with normalising relations with the US and Japan. The country’s first nuclear missile test last October sparked international disapproval and kickstarted the stalled talks.