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. Japanese police detect dubious money flow between Macau bank, NKorea: report
TOKYO, Nov 4 (AFP) Nov 04, 2006
Japanese police have confirmed that North Korea used accounts at a Macau-based bank to pay for equipment that could be used to produce weapons of mass destruction, a report said Saturday.

The revelation was the first to detail the flow of illegal North Korean funds through Banco Delta Asia (BDA), allegedly linked to illicit activities of the reclusive nation, the Yomiuri Shimbun said, quoting investigative sources.

The fate of the bank accounts now frozen under pressure from Washington may be high on the agenda of six-party talks on North Korea that could resume by the end of the month.

According to the daily, a corporation directly linked to North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il asked a Tokyo-based trading firm to ship a freeze dryer that could be used to develop biological weapons.

On July 29, 2002, the North Korean company sent some 6.15 million yen (521,000 dollars) from the BDA account to an account held by the trading house at a commercial bank.

In September 2002, 1.98 million yen was also transmitted from a BDA account held by another North Korean company to an account opened by a separate Japanese trading firm for purchases of power supply devices that could be used to enrich uranium.

The US government has said Banco Delta Asia's accounts had been used as vital financial windows for North Korea's illegal counterfeiting and money laundering.

North Korea has been also suspected of using the accounts to buy luxuries for Kim and goods used as gifts from him to high-ranking North Koran military officers before they were frozen in February.

Since the BDA accounts were frozen, Pyongyang has sought to open new accounts in countries including Mongolia, Russia and Vietnam.

North Korea said Wednesday it would end its year-long boycott of the disarmament talks with South Korea, China, the United States, Japan and Russia on condition that the issue of lifting US financial sanctions would be settled during the negotiations.

The six-party talks, which began in 2003 under Beijing's aegis, are aimed at convincing North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons programme in exchange for economic incentives and security guarantees.

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