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S. Korea seeks China's support for new Asia development bank

2015/09/05 18:53

SEOUL, Sept. 5 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's top economic official on Saturday asked for China's support in setting up a new Asian development bank that is partly aimed at denuclearizing communist North Korea.

In a meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Lou Jiwei, South Korean Finance Minister Choi Kyung-hwan said the proposed Northeast Asia Development Bank will also contribute to economic integration in the region, according to the Ministry of Finance and Strategy.

"While asking for China's support for the proposed Northeast Asia Development Bank that seeks to help develop North Korea following the North's denuclearization, Minister Choi stressed that the bank will not only complement the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) but also contribute to regional economic integration in Asia by expanding China's One Belt, One Road development program to the Korean Peninsula," the ministry said in a press release.

The Choi-Lou meeting was held on the sidelines of the G-20 meeting being held in Ankara, Turkey.

South Korea has already promised to take part in the China-led AIIB as one of its 57 founding members.

Seoul officials have said the Northeast Asia Development Bank may work as a supplement to the AIIB by focusing more on North Korea, as well as northeast China and Russia's Far East.

Choi's request also came shortly after Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said in a meeting with South Korean President Park Geun-hye that his country will seriously review jointly setting up the Northeast Asia Development Bank.

South Korean Finance Minister Choi Kyung-hwan speaks while attending the G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting in Ankara, Turkey, on Sept. 5, 2015. (Photo courtesy of finance ministry) South Korean Finance Minister Choi Kyung-hwan speaks while attending the G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting in Ankara, Turkey, on Sept. 5, 2015. (Photo courtesy of finance ministry)

bdk@yna.co.kr

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