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S. Korea asks U.S. to back creation of new Asia development bank

2015/09/15 11:17

SEJONG, Sept. 15 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has asked the United States to support the establishment of a new Asian development bank that can fuel economic growth in a denuclearized North Korea, the finance ministry said Tuesday.

The bank, first proposed by President Park Geun-hye in Dresden, Germany, last year, aims to help North Korea develop its economy after it gives up its nuclear ambitions. It also plans to support development projects in China's Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces, as well as Russia's Far East.

The ministry said Vice Finance Minister Joo Hyung-hwan called for Washington's cooperation and interest during a meeting with U.S. Treasury Under Secretary for International Affairs Nathan Sheets on Monday. The meeting was held in the U.S. capital on the sidelines of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) special governors conference.

"The vice minister stressed that the setting up of the Northeast Asian Development Bank will contribute to peace and stability in the region, and explained the rationale and direction of the institution to the U.S. official," it said.

Vice Finance Minister Joo Hyung-hwan (L) smiles during the Inter-American Development Bank meeting in Washington on Sept. 14, 2015. (Yonhap) Vice Finance Minister Joo Hyung-hwan (L) smiles during the Inter-American Development Bank meeting in Washington on Sept. 14, 2015. (Yonhap)

Seoul has said the new bank will complement multilateral development banks (MDB), such as the Asian Development Bank and China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. It can also strengthen ties, not only between the two Koreas, but neighboring countries in the region as well.

Joo also met with David Lipton, the first deputy managing director at the International Monetary Fund, the ministry said, adding that during talks with Sheets and Lipton, the officials exchanged views on the latest developments in China and rising financial market volatility as the U.S. moves to raise interest rates.

The finance ministry said Joo chaired the IDB session that voted to give incumbent Luis Alberto Moreno another five-year term as president. The vice minister held talks with the reinstated Moreno and touched on ways to enhance ties between the MDB and South Korea, it added.

yonngong@yna.co.kr

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