The funds will be transferred to the Far Eastern Commercial Bank via the Central Bank of Russia and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The American side has agreed to take all risks involved in the transfer and to cover litigation costs should anyone sue the Russian bank.
"All necessary arrangements have been made, and all safeguards provided," Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Kislyak told a press conference in Moscow, adding that the money is being transferred "as we speak."
Pyongyang's account at Banco Delta Asia has been the main stumbling block at six-party nuclear talks, with negotiators from the United States, China, Japan, Russia, and South Korea trying to persuade the North to dismantle its nuclear weapons program.
A source in the Russian government said the operation is likely to be completed on Friday. He dismissed as untrue Tuesday's report by Japan's news agency Kyodo that North Korea had already received the money.
North Korea has promised to seal its Yongbyon reactor producing weapons-grade plutonium as soon as the money, blocked in China at a U.S. request over money laundering suspicions, has been transferred.