US Promises to End Financial Sanctions Against NK

Korea Times

The United States has promised North Korea that it would lift financial sanctions against the communist country, the North’s chief nuclear envoy said Saturday in Beijing.

“The U.S. has promised to end financial sanctions on the Banco Delta Asia and the North is keeping a close eye on the promise,” Kim Kye-gwan told reporters at Beijing Shoudu Airport before taking a flight to Pyongyang.

“If the U.S. fails to solve the issue completely, we will have to take partial actions against it,” Kim said.

Kim was leaving Beijing after meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wu Dawei to prepare for a fresh round of denuclearization talks on the North’s nuclear disarmament on March 19.

He also briefed Wu on the outcome of his U.S.-North Korea normalization talks in New York on March 5-6 with Christopher Hill, the chief U.S. envoy to the six-party negotiations.

In the normalization talks, both sides also agreed to resolve issues surrounding the designation of North Korea as a terrorism-sponsoring state and the application of the U.S. Trading with the Enemy Act, Kim said.

“We agreed to resolve the issues based on our strategic interests and normalize ties between North Korea and the U.S.,” Kim said. “On those two items, there still are diplomatic issues between us.”

In September 2005, the U.S. Treasury Department blacklisted Banco Delta Asia in Macau for its suspicious role in helping the North launder money. Thus, the bank froze $24 million on North Korean accounts.

The North interpreted the financial sanctions as a U.S. attempt to isolate Pyongyang from the international community, and had boycotted the six-party talks until last December.

During the New York talks, Kim discussed with Hill measures for the normalization of diplomatic relations between North Korea and the U.S., following a breakthrough denuclearization agreement which was signed in the six-party talks in Beijing on Feb. 13.

Kim said the U.S. has promised to resolve the financial sanctions against the North within 30 days.

He added that if the U.S. kept its promise, we will shut down our nuclear facilities in 60 days.

Under the disarmament accord, North Korea committed to take intial steps to disable its nuclear weapons program in return for economic aid, security guarantees and diplomatic incentives from South Korea, the U.S., China, Japan and Russia.

The steps require the North to shut down its Yongbyon nuclear complex and admit international inspectors into the country by mid-April

With a two-month deadline, the other parties will provide 50,000 tons of fuel oil and discuss normalizing diplomatic relations with the North.


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