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Banks move to roll out N. Korea-centered financial products

2018/08/24 11:03

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SEOUL, Aug. 24 (Yonhap) -- South Korean banks are planning to roll out North Korea-centered financial products amid optimistic views of inter-Korean reconciliation, sources in the financial sector said Friday.

Amid diplomatic efforts to persuade North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to live up to his pledge to denuclearize, Seoul and Pyongyang this week ramped up reconciliation efforts with the reunions of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War, in a prime example of this rapprochement.

Also this week, Kookmin Bank, South Korea's top private lender, introduced a trust fund for the separated families.

The product allows South Korean citizens to leave their money to their North Korean children or relatives when they die.

Still, such inter-Korean financial transactions could take place only if international sanctions related to North Korea's nuclear and missile programs are lifted.

Nonghyup Bank is also considering selling a unification-themed fund.

Shinhan Financial Group, one of South Korea's major financial holding firms, has set up a consultative body comprised of officials from its subsidiaries.

Shinhan has sought a cooperative network with outside North Korea experts to map out strategies for financial support for inter-Korean economic cooperation.

In May, Woori Bank launched a task force on support for inter-Korean financial cooperation.

kdh@yna.co.kr

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