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Seoul to Help North Korea Drum Up Investment After Abandoning Nuclear Program

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South Korea is ready to help its northern neighbor attract international investment, if it gives up its nuclear ambitions, South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported Thursday citing the country’s finance minister, Choi Kyung-hwan.

MOSCOW, August 28 (RIA Novosti) - South Korea is ready to help its northern neighbor attract international investment, if it gives up its nuclear ambitions, South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported Thursday citing the country’s finance minister, Choi Kyung-hwan.

“If North Korea decides to abandon its nuclear weapons, we will cooperate with Northeast Asian countries to actively support North Korea's accession to international financial organizations and its attraction of international investment,” the agency reported Choi as saying during a speech at a forum on Asian economic cooperation.

The official also promised to facilitate the establishment of a development bank for Northeast Asian countries, which would help North Korea build infrastructure to help its poor citizens.

North Korea declared itself a nuclear state in 2005. Over the following years, Pyongyang conducted a number of nuclear tests, triggering the ire of the international community. In April 2013, the country said it would resume uranium enrichment activities.

The Korean Peninsula is still formally in a state of war, as no peace treaty was signed after the Korean War of 1950-1953. Relations between North and South Korea worsened in 2010, when Seoul’s Cheonan warship was sunk in the Yellow Sea. A South Korean investigation determined the vessel was hit by a North Korean torpedo.

On November 23, 2010, the disputed island of Yeonpyeongdo was shelled by North Korean artillery, according to the South Korean reports. The incident killed two soldiers, with another 17 wounded.

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