S. Korea demands DPRK pay back loan debt

SEOUL, June 8 (Xinhua) — South Korea’s state-led bank on Friday urged the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to pay back loans offered by the two liberal predecessors of President Lee Myung-bak.

The Export-Import Bank of Korea sent a message earlier in the day, reminding the DPRK’s Chosun Trade Bank once again of its debt obligations, the unification ministry here said.

The bank faxed a similar message last month to the DPRK, which had promised to pay up its debt for 20 years following a 10-year grace period under a 2000 agreement.

Pyongyang has remained silent on the issue.

The food loans, which covered some 2.4 million tons of rice and 200,000 tons of corn, total 720 million U.S. dollars. <Xinhua>

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