Thursday, March 22, 2007

More on the 6PT & BDA...

A piece on seems to have the answer to Prof. Larsen's question about what is holding up the transfer of funds (I wasn't too far off).

It paraphrases unidentified officials as saying the release of the DPRK's funds is being held up by concerns on the part of Chinese banking officials over accepting and processing (thereby washing) funds that have been linked to illicit activities. It also notes that the Bank of China (which usually has its act together), says it hasn't even been notified that it should accept the money. (Very possibly true; very possibly a spokesperson managing the media.)

The piece quotes old HIST 298 friend Nic Eberstadt as saying the North's refusal to talk until it receives its funds is business as usual in terms of tactics. Chinese and American officials remain optimistic...with China's envoy, Wu Dawei, expressing amazing faith in the process, "No matter the difficulties we face in the talks, no matter how hard, we have the capability to overcome them." The Russian envoy blames...guess who...yup, America. (Good to know some things never change.) I guess even the power of Rocky IV has its limits. ='(

Talks have been suspended, and Kim Kye Gwan, the North's lead negotiator has flown home.

I tingle with anticipation!! Who shot JR? Just kidding...more to come, I'm sure. I'm not happy to see a bump in the road, but I can't say I'm surprised in the slightest, either.

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