Talk on North Korean disarmament stalled yesterday when Pyongyang refused to move forward until it receives $25 million that had been trapped in frozen accounts in Macau since February. Frustrated delegates to the six-party talks postured in return, warned that time is running out, while the U.S. said the the funds should have been released.
For North Korea, the money was a symbolic, said Shi Yinhong, an international relations expert in Beijing. "They want to send a signal that even if they shut down the reactor as a concession, along the way they will extract maximum concessions," Shi told Reuters. "They want not just the money but also the psychological victory."