US refrains from criticizing NKorea nuke deadline

April 15, 2007 04:01

The Bush administration said North Korea must follow through on its promise to shut down and seal its nuclear reactor, but held back from criticizing Pyongyang for missing a Saturday deadline to do so. Pyongyang had committed to take the step by Saturday as part of an agreement reached in February between it and five other nations - the United States, China, Japan, South Korea and Russia - to end its nuclear weapons program. But Washington also failed to resolve within 30 days of the agreement, as promised, a dispute with North Korea over funds frozen through US sanctions. Technical difficulties meant the $25 million in North Korean assets held at a bank in the semiautonomous Chinese territory of Macau were just freed this past week.

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