South Expects Repayment of Food Loans

The South Korean Ministry of Unification says that loans of food made to North Korea must be repaid in accordance with an agreement on the subject made in 2000.

Under a ‘Food Loans Agreement’ signed by Kim Jong Il and former South Korean President Kim Dae Jung in September, 2000, loans of food come up for repayment after ten years, meaning that the first such loans will fall due next year.

Cheon Hae Sung, a spokesperson for the Ministry, told reporters in this morning’s briefing, “Of course the food loans must be repaid according to the food loans contract… We will deal with this issue based on the stance on that the loans must be repaid according to the plan, but we still have one year more.”

Regarding inter-Korean talks about denuclearization, Cheon reiterated, “With respect to several talks suggestions; the most important thing is presently North Korea’s responsible treatment of the Cheonan and Yeonpyeong Island issues and denuclearization, not in words, but in actions. The administration’s continuing stance is that inter-Korean talks should take precedence for this reason.”