US investigators believe North Korea used an obscure, family owned bank in the Chinese gambling enclave of Macau to launder the proceeds of large scale criminal activity that included drug smuggling and currency forging over many years. In September 2005 the US Treasury Department announced that the bank, Banco Delta Asia, was under investigation as a centre of money laundering. Funds in 52 accounts were frozen. US investigators suspect that some of them were the personal accounts of North Korea's leaders.
Getting the money back has been a major priority for North Korea's negotiators in talks over the country's controversial nuclear programme ever since. In February the US agreed in principle that the money should be returned, but it didn't lift restrictions in place on banks around the world having any dealings with North Korea. The result was that no bank was willing to physically handle the money locked up in BDA and get it back to North Korea. They were worried about breaking US law.
North Korea meanwhile suspended implementation of a deal to decommission a reactor until it got the money back. Now in the latest compromise it seems the money will be routed back to North Korea via the US and Russia. A Russian bank has apparently agreed to handle the cash in return for written confirmation that it will face no penalty for breaching US rules prohibiting dealings with North Korea.
Mark Gregory, BBC
:: New words (Từ mới)
không nổi tiếng, không được biết đến
to launder the proceeds
rửa tiền, tức là hoạt động chuyển tiền thông qua một ngân hàng hay một doanh nghiệp nhằm che giấu nguồn gốc bất hợp pháp của khoản tiền đó
làm giả ngoại tệ
bị phong tỏa
lift restrictions in place
bãi bỏ các lệnh cấm chính thức, theo đó hạn chế những gì người ta được phép làm
to physically handle
đụng chạm tới, thực sự xử lý
suspended implementation of
ngăn chặn việc tiến hành chuyện gì đó
vô hiệu hóa, khiến cho vật gì đó trở nên vô dụng
thỏa hiệp, nhân nhượng
face no penalty
không bị trừng phạt