There are doubts over whether North Korea will meet next week's agreed deadline for shutting down its nuclear facilities, according to China's top negotiator with Pyongyang. Wu Danwei told Japanese journalists in Beijing Wednesday that an agreement has yet to be reached over transferring funds to North Korea that were unfrozen by the US, AFP reported. Washington promised to release the US$25 million held in a Macau bank account as part of a deal that would see Pyongyang seal its plutonium-producing Yongbyon reactor and other plants by April 14. It was set to receive energy aid in return. But the February 13 agreement was threatened as North Korean negotiators refused to participate in talks last month until the money was released. It is said there are problems finding a bank that is willing to handle the cash.
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