The United States has announced that millions of dollars frozen in a Macau bank will soon be released to North Korea, and has told Pyongyang it must now start shutting down a nuclear reactor days before a deadline.Hopefully this will allow the process to continue and eventually lead to the end of North Korea's nuclear program.
The reclusive state has insisted it will only close the reactor, which supplies it with weapons-grade plutonium, once $US25 million dollars in funds linked to North Korean interests and frozen since 2005 in Macau's Banco Delta Asia are freed.
Under an international deal agreed two months ago to end its nuclear weapons programme, North Korea has until Saturday to start shutting down its Yongbyon atomic plant.
The article also notes this fact:
On Monday, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson flew to North Korea where he is to receive the remains of six US soldiers killed during the 1950-53 Korean War.It is a pity that Richardson, who is currently running for the Democratic nomination for president, gets so little attention from the American press. I hear next to nothing about him unless I actively look for it. He seems like such a strong candidate on paper.
NBC television reported that North Korean officials had told Richardson that once the money was released, UN nuclear inspectors, expelled in 2002, would be allowed back in.
Richardson plans on Wednesday to cross the demilitarised zone which has divided the peninsula since 1953 and enter South Korea with the soldiers' remains. They are to be flown to Hawaii for identification.