20 Apr '11, 6am

N. Korea owes S. Korea almost US$1b

N. Korea owes S. Korea almost US$1b

SEOUL: North Korea owes South Korea almost one billion dollars but chances of repayment are slim given its crumbling economy and cross-border tensions, officials said Wednesday. South Korea over the past decade shipped food, fuel oil, fertiliser and raw materials to its impoverished communist neighbour in the form of loans worth a total 1.02 trillion won ($942 million). The overall debt is bigger because of overdue interest payments, the South's unification ministry said without giving further figures. Pyongyang received 2.4 million tons of rice and 200,000 tons of corn valued at 787 billion won between 2000 to 2007. Repayment was scheduled over 20 years with a 10-year grace period, at one percent annual interest. In 2007 the South provided its neighbour with raw materials worth 87.5 billion won to help it produce clothing, footwear and soap. The North paid back just three...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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