US: Macau prepared to unfreeze North Korean funds

Macau authorities are prepared to unblock frozen North Korean funds, a U.S. Treasury Department statement said Tuesday, possibly paving the way for a breakthrough in an agreement to dismantle Pyongyang's nuclear program. North Korea has refused to move forward on a February agreement under which it will close its main nuclear reactor in return for economic aid and political concessions until the funds, frozen in a Macau bank because of concerns about money laundering, are released. "The United States understands that the Macau authorities are prepared to unblock all North Korean-related accounts currently frozen in Banco Delta Asia," the statement said. "The United States would support a decision by the Macau authorities to unblock the accounts in question."