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US Says Macau Bank to Release North Korean Funds


North Korea Nuclear: U.S. officials in Beijing say they have resolved a dispute with Pyongyang about 25 million dollars in North Korean funds that have been frozen at a Macau bank.
U.S. Treasury official Daniel Glaser said today (Monday) Macau's Banco Delta Asia will transfer the money to a North Korean account at the Bank of China in Beijing. He says Pyongyang has promised to use the funds for humanitarian purposes.
Diplomats say the agreement clears the way for progress to be made at six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear program, which resumed today in China's capital.
Reports from Beijing quote North Korean envoy Kim Kye Kwan as saying Pyongyang will stop work at its nuclear reactor in Yongbyon when the frozen funds dispute is fully resolved.

Thailand Unrest: Thai police say suspected Muslim separatists have shot dead three Buddhist women in southern Thailand.
Police say gunmen opened fire on a truck taking the women to work this (Monday) morning on a farm in (the Nong Chik district of) Pattani province.
Two other women were wounded on the truck, which was carrying more than 10 people.
The women worked at a farm that trains people to grow vegetables, fruit and other basic foods. The farm project is funded by Thailand's royal family to help women who have been widowed by violence in Thailand's south.
Today's shooting is the latest in a series of attacks on civilians in southern Thailand in recent days. On Saturday, insurgents attacked an Islamic boarding school in Songkhla province, killing three teenage students.

Afghan – Attack: Officials in Afghanistan say a car bomb has exploded next to a U.S. Embassy convoy on a busy road in the capital, Kabul.
A U.S. Embassy spokesman (Joe Mellot) says several people were wounded in the attack, including one seriously. He said the U.S. ambassador was not in the convoy.

China Sea Collision: Chinese state media say two cargo ships have collided in the East China Sea, killing eight sailors and leaving nine others missing.
The Xinhua news agency says the accident happened late Saturday off the coast of Zhejiang province. It says a Hong Kong-registered ship with a crew of 29 on board sank after colliding with a Chinese vessel.
Xinhua says the bodies of eight sailors from the Hong Kong ship were recovered, while 12 other sailors were rescued. Chinese authorities are searching for the nine missing crew members using helicopters and more than 40 vessels. The crew members of the Chinese cargo ship are reported to be unharmed.

China Aircraft: China's Cabinet has approved a plan to design and build large commercial aircraft to compete with Boeing and Airbus, who dominate the Chinese market.
China's State Council said today (Monday) it made the decision last month after reviewing a feasibility study on the project.
China's Cabinet says work on the new commercial aircraft will start as soon as possible. It says the jets will carry more than 150 passengers.
Chinese aircraft makers are currently developing a smaller commercial aircraft (called the ARJ-21) with up to 105 seats. The smaller jets are expected to be delivered in 2009.

Listen to our World News for details.



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