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Report: N.Korea-linked bank may be killed

March 13, 2007 at 8:13 AM

SEOUL, March 13 (UPI) -- A Macau bank accused of laundering money for North Korea could be liquidated as a result of a U.S. probe, Seoul news reports said Tuesday.

If the United States formally designates Banco Delta Asia (BDA) as a "money laundering concern," Macau authorities could liquidate the bank, Yonhap News Agency said, citing an unidentified official at the Foreign Ministry.

"I believe the owners of BDA would have to take responsibility for what they may be found liable based on the outcome of the investigation," the official said.

If BDA is liquidated, North Korea can recover some or all of the $24 million dollars it had at the bank. The bank issue has been a key obstacle to ending the North's nuclear drive.

"I think (the issue of) how much money will be released to North Korea is now in the hands of the Macau government," the official said.

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