S. Korea calls on N. Korea to pay back US$80 mln loan

S. Korea calls on N. Korea to pay back US$80 mln loan

Beijing, March 24, AZERTAC

South Korea's unification ministry Friday called on North Korea to repay its 2007 loan of industrial raw materials, worth US$80 million, from Seoul, saying it is coming to maturity, Yonhap reported.

Under an inter-Korean agreement at that time, meant to help improve the North's light industries, the South loaned the North raw materials needed to produce garments, shoes and soaps.

In return, Pyongyang was supposed to make a repayment in kind, such as with zinc and other minerals. But after making initial payments in 2007 and 2008, the North has not repaid any more of the debt.

The ministry in charge of inter-Korean affairs urged the North to "faithfully" repay the principal and interest, with the maturity coming due Friday.

"The North's inaction constitutes a violation of the inter-Korean agreement and also runs counter to international trade practices," Lee Hyo-jung, the ministry's deputy spokesperson, said at a press briefing.

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