Report: US, North Korea planning bilateral talks

The United States and North Korea are planning to hold bilateral talks as soon as a financial dispute is resolved to lay the groundwork for a resumption of six-nation nuclear negotiations, a news report said Tuesday. The meeting is likely to be held in Beijing this weekend, as North Korean money held in a US-blacklisted Macau bank is expected to be released this week, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported, citing unidentified diplomats. The financial row forced the six-nation nuclear talks to recess last month as North Korea demanded that it first receive its US$25 million (€18.7 million) held in Banco Delta Asia. The money was frozen by local authorities after Washington blacklisted the small bank in the Chinese territory for alleged complicity in money laundering and other illicit activity by North Korea.