U.S. to have sanction talks with N.Korea

Nov. 8, 2006 at 8:31 AM

SEOUL, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- The United States will hold bilateral discussions with North Korea on financial sanctions separate from nuclear talks, a senior U.S. official said Wednesday.

"This will be a continuation of talks we had with the North Koreans that began in New York in March of this year," Deputy Treasury Secretary Robert Kimmitt said after meeting with Chun Yung-woo, South Korea's top nuclear negotiator.

"I did have an opportunity (with Chun) to discuss the role the Treasury Department will play in the separate bilateral mechanism in which there will be discussion with the North Koreans of the BDA case," he said.

The U.S. Treasury is still investigating the Banco Delta Asia, a Macau-based bank accused of laundering money for North Korea. Kimmitt said it is not sanctions but "law enforcement measures under the laws of the U.S. and other jurisdictions."

Late last month, North Korea said it would return to the six-party talks on its nuclear issue "on the premise that the financial restrictions would be discussed and settled."

North Korea has boycotted the six-party talks since late last year, citing U.S. sanctions imposed on BDA, which is believed to chock off Pyongyang's cash flow.

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