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The $25 million was frozen by the bank in 2005 after the Treasury Department alerted its management that the North Korean and other accounts there were linked to illicit activities, including counterfeiting U.S. dollars and money laundering.

Earlier this year, the Treasury blacklisted the bank and lifted its objection to releasing the funds. It took months to find another bank to accept the money, as all approached institutions in several countries feared U.S. penalties. A deal was finally reached with a Russian bank.