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Korea to extend repayment deadline for poor nations

Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki participates in a World Bank Development Committee videoconference Friday. (Finance Ministry)
Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki participates in a World Bank Development Committee videoconference Friday. (Finance Ministry)


South Korea will allow certain coronavirus-hit countries to postpone repayment of their debts until the end of this year, Seoul officials said.

Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said Friday in a World Bank Development Committee videoconference that Korea would extend the repayment deadline for members of the Industrial Development Agency and for the world’s least developed countries, at the suggestion of the World Bank, to give them some financial breathing room.

“South Korea supports the World Bank and International Monetary Fund’s suggestion, both of which emphasized the necessity of debt relief for the weakest nations,” he said.

The finance minister also emphasized economic restructuring, responsiveness and resilience for developing countries as the virus is spreading globally.

“The global society must expand support for developing countries so that they can boost their responsiveness to emergencies,” he said.

The finance minister also called for the flexible application of travel restrictions for the deployment of necessary goods and personnel to facilitate development cooperation efforts without interruption.

The World Bank Development Committee said on the same day that the World Bank Group urged the World Health Organization, other United Nations organizations and global financial bodies and partner countries to support the world’s least developed countries.

By Kim Byung-wook (kbw@heraldcorp.com)
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