S. Korea urges North to spend on debt, not missiles
SEOUL (AFP) - South Korea on Friday urged North Korea to repay millions of dollars in debt related to past food aid, and slammed the regime in Pyongyang for squandering scant resources on long-range missile tests.
The South provided the North with some 2.6 million tonnes of food worth US$720 million in six installments between 2000 and 2007.
The food aid was provided in the form of a cheap loan, with repayments to be made over 20 years. The first installment of US$5.83 million was due in June but was never paid, the Unification Ministry said.
Ministry spokesman Kim Hyung-Suk said Seoul's state-run Export-Import Bank had sent a message to North Korea's Foreign Trade Bank, warning that delay penalties would be charged.