Friday, June 08, 2007

North Korean "Diplomacy"

I continue to find it interesting how much stress the world seems to place on six-party talks and the hope that Kim Jong Il will suddenly abdicate his position of power in favor of energy development assistance. The Reuters article I was looking at that discusssed the ongoing nuclear debate also talked about the "hermit kindom's" lack of banking technology, a topic that I haven't heard a lot about. Another article from the International Herald Tribune (, Banco Delta Asia was the major financial institution for a great number of North Korea's monetary transactions and trade. In September 2005, US Treasury Department accused the bank of confterfeiting and money laundering schemes for North Korean government "companies and entities". Based out of Macao, after the Treasury Department's attacks, there was a run on the bank's deposits, which resulted in North Korea getting frozen out of not only Banco Delta Asia, but also numerous other institutions who were not willing to get involved with the country because of it's questionable reputation. Although the first things that pop into my head when I hear the words "North Korea" tend to be about nuclear weapons, I can't help but think that the USG's attacks on North Korea, and the banking issue will continue to gain momentum and become an increasingly volatile subject as six party talks continue.

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