( RIA Novosti ) - A Russian bank, acting as a mediator in the North Korea nuclear dispute, transferred $25 million from a frozen Macao bank account to the Communist state Monday, the bank said in a statement.
After receiving an official request from the Russian Finance Ministry, Dalcombank, based in Russia's Far East, agreed to transfer funds frozen in Banco Delta Asia through the U.S. Federal Reserve System and Russia's Central Bank
"Following high-level talks involving Russia's finance and foreign ministries, and the Bank of Russia as well as an exchange of correspondence between the Russian Foreign Ministry and the U.S. Embassy in Moscow ... Dalcombank transferred June 25 the above funds to North Korea's Foreign Trade Bank," the bank said in a press release. "Therefore, the problem of the funds transfer has been settled."
North Korea's funds were frozen 18 months ago on the demand of the U.S., which accused Pyongyang of money laundering. North Korea insisted that the funds be returned before it started sealing a nuclear reactor.
The United States expects North Korea to close down its nuclear reactor within the next three weeks, the deadline "begins Friday," U.S. nuclear envoy Christopher Hill said at a news conference in Tokyo Saturday. Hill confirmed Pyongyang's readiness to close its Yongbyon reactor as soon as possible.