North Korea ready to shut down reactor

North Korea is ready to quickly shut down its nuclear reactor as soon as it receives funds that had been frozen in a banking dispute, the Foreign Ministry said Monday.

North Korea ready to shut down reactor
North Korea is ready to quickly shut down its nuclear reactor as soon as it receives funds that had been frozen in a banking dispute, the Foreign Ministry said Monday.

"The shutdown is something that can be done immediately and it won't take long," Ri Kyong Son, vice spokesman at the ministry, told APTN in an interview in Pyongyang.

The North's key precondition to move on disarmament is the release of some $25 million frozen after Washington blacklisted a Macau bank where the North Korean regime held accounts. Washington helped unfreeze the funds to win the North's promise to start dismantling its nuclear weapons programs, but "technical issues" have stalled the transfer.

Ri said Monday he could not predict when North Korea would access the money.

"The U.S. has made the announcement but only when we receive the funds can the sanctions be said to have been lifted," Ri told APTN. "Making the announcement itself does not settle the unfreezing of the funds."

Last Mod: 07 Mayıs 2007, 14:04
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