Beijing called on Washington to exercise patience as North Korea appeared to have missed the agreed deadline for shutting down its nuclear reactor, Reuters reported. Under the terms of a multilateral agreement reached on February 13, Pyongyang had 60 days to seal the Yongbyon nuclear plant in return for which it was to receive energy aid. However, there has been confusion over the status of about US$25 million in North Korean funds held in a Macau bank that were supposed to be unfrozen by the US as part of the agreement. "The Chinese wanted us to show some patience for a couple more days," said US envoy Christopher Hill. "There's a sense that the communication lines are open and the North Koreans understand the fact that these accounts are accessible to them." He said he hoped the six-party talks – which involve the two Koreas, the US, Russia, China and Japan – would resume before the end of April.
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