North Korea denies entry of IAEA inspectors

Friday, June 22, 2007

After Christopher R. Hill, the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. met with North Korean (DPRK) diplomats on Thursday, the country decided not to give International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors permission to enter the country, claiming that the $25,000,000 remitted to them has not yet arrived.

"As of now, the frozen funds had not reached our bank account. Nobody knows why the remittance is delayed. Our side has informed the IAEA that we have no objection to them preparing the visit as a plan, but we are not ready to give our official confirmation for the visit as scheduled by the agency," said counsellor Hyon Yong at North Korea's embassy located in Vienna.

The money is believed to still be in the possession of the Central Bank of Russia, which received control of the funds after they were transferred via the United States Federal Reserve System to Macau's Banco Delta Asia. Russian officials state that the funds transfer was to "be completed by today," but as of now the funds have not yet arrived to N. Korea.

Earlier this week North Korea invited IAEA inspectors into the country to monitor the shutting down of their nuclear reactor located in Yongbyon.