June 21, 2007 / 1:46 PM / 11 years ago

North Korean funds on their way to Russia

MOSCOW (Reuters) - North Korea’s $25 million in frozen funds released as part of a nuclear deal is being transferred to a Russian bank, Russia’s deputy foreign minister said on Thursday.

“All the North Korean funds are being transferred to a bank on Russian territory right now, as I speak to you,” Sergei Kislyak told journalists.

“I believe this issue can be resolved. It now only consists of bank operators pressing certain buttons.”

Signs of a resumption of international checks on North Korea’s nuclear program have partially faltered this week because Pyongyang said it had not received any of the funds previously frozen in a Macau bank.

They were meant to be transferred to an intermediary Russian bank.

Itar-Tass news agency quoted a diplomatic source as saying the cash would arrive at the Russian bank on Friday.

“It will be completed by June 22, this Friday,” the source was quoted as saying.

The reclusive communist state had refused to honor its February 13 nuclear disarmament deal until the money is transferred to it from Macau’s Banco Delta Asia with U.S. help.

The deal was struck in talks between North Korea and five other powers -- South Korea, the United States, China, Japan and Russia.

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