Skip to comments.U.S. will not remove N. Korea from list of terror-sponsoring states: official
Posted on 04/27/2007 12:18:19 AM PDT by TigerLikesRooster
U.S. will not remove N. Korea from list of terror-sponsoring states: official
WASHINGTON, April 26 (Yonhap) -- The United States will not remove North Korea from its list of state sponsors of terrorism until progress is made on the North's kidnapping of Japanese citizens decades ago, a White House official said Thursday.
Dennis Wilder, a senior director for Asian affairs at the National Security Council, said President George W. Bush will reaffirm such a position while meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe this week.
The Japanese prime minister arrived here early Thursday for a two-day visit, his first trip to the U.S. since coming into office in September.
"We aren't going to de-link the abductee issue from the state sponsor of terrorism issue," Wilder told reporters.
The decision renders great support to Japan's pursuit to learn the whereabouts of its citizens believed to have been taken to the communist nation over three decades ago, but may create obstacles to, if not jeopardize, international talks on North Korea's nuclear weapons program.
Washington has agreed to consider removing Pyongyang from the list of terror-sponsoring states in exchange for a complete shutdown and an eventual disablement of the North's nuclear facilities.
Many U.S. officials, including the top U.S. nuclear negotiator Christopher Hill, have said the process of removing North Korea from the list is unlikely to begin until the North first implements the six-nation agreement to denuclearize.
U.S. State Department spokesman Tom Casey reconfirmed this on Thursday, saying it would be "a lengthy process." In the agreement signed in February in Beijing, North Korea was supposed to shut down and seal its nuclear facilities before April 14 in exchange for 50,000 tons of heavy fuel oil.
However, the nuclear facilities, including the North's only plutonium-producing nuclear reactor, are believed to still be in operation.
North Korea has said it will not implement the first 60-day denuclearization measures unless its funds frozen in a Macau bank are transferred to another bank so the North could confirm the free transfer of its funds in the international financial system upon which the U.S. Treasury Department has a strong influence.
Chun Yung-woo, South Korea's top nuclear envoy, said Thursday in Seoul that North Korea is working with officials at the Macau bank, Banco Delta Asia, to recover its US$25 million frozen there since September 2002.
No date has been set for the resumption of the nuclear talks that involve the two Koreas, the U.S., Japan, China and Russia.
OHHH Classic that way you show Chia Pet for now ROFL
Ok, here's what I don't get about this whole Macau macaca hold-up. Is it really plausible that a measly $25M is holding up N. Korea from complying w/ nuclear inspections? I mean, if it was $25 billion, given N. Korea's shaky economy, I might by that. But why has no one questioned this figure? From all recent accounts I've read, this is the final hold-up. To me, it seems like we ought to just cut a check for $25M to call their bluff. It's like a mult-billion-dollar merger stalling because one CEO hasn't delivered the turkey sandwich he promised the other.
What N. Korea wants is to be reinstated as a regular member of international financial community, that is, the complete lifting of financial sanction.
You can cut a check, but if nobody wants to deal with N. Korea, N. Korea may not be able to deposit the check.
N. Korea is playing for the much bigger stake as usual.
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