North Korea Says it Won't Stop Nuke Development Until Funds are Freed

North Korea will not stop its nuclear activity unless its funds held in a Macau bank are fully released, the country's chief nuclear envoy said Saturday.

Banco Delta Asia had been blacklisted by the U.S. Treasury Department since September 2005, leading to a freeze of some $25 million in North Korean accounts.

Earlier this week, the United States said that ties would be cut between the small Macau lender and the U.S. financial system. The move might lead regulators to unfreeze a portion of the money.

"We have not heard anything regarding the lifting of financial sanctions yet," Kim Gye Gwan, North Korea's top nuclear envoy said after arriving in Beijing Saturday. It was the first official response by the North to Washington's decision.

"We will not stop our nuclear activity until our funds frozen in the BDA are fully released," he said. "We will not stop the Yongbyon nuclear facility until the United States fully releases our funds frozen in the BDA."