Inter-Korea Cooperation Fund riddled with holes

Korea Herald
Choi He-suk

The Inter-Korea Cooperation Fund is riddled with problems, a team of civilian experts reported.

At present, the country’s support measures for North Korea are carried out using the Inter-Korea Cooperation Fund.

According to reviews evaluating public funds’ relevance and the efficiency of asset management carried out by civilian experts, the management of the Inter-Korea Cooperation Fund is inefficient and poorly planned. The panel also said that the Unification Minister-led committee in charge of the fund lacks the expertise required for asset management.

However, the team, comprised of 67 civilian experts including university professors, accountants and researchers, did not include the fund among those slated for abolition.

The reviews, carried out during the first half of the year, showed that the fund’s sources of revenue must be diversified. The review panel said that most of the fund’s revenues are generated from the government budget and that the proportion of resources raised from the private sector and through in-house projects remain insignificant.

The reports added that despite the fact that those responsible for managing the fund realize the need to find new sources of revenue and to draw up detailed expenditure plans, such changes have failed to materialize.

The reports also highlighted the need to draw up long-term plans for the fund’s management and said that the Ministry of Unification should take the lead in establishing long term plans and strategies for the management of the fund to reflect the changes in inter-Korea relations.

The review panel also suggested that the private sector’s participation in the fund needs to be increased.

The reports said that although the government should continue to provide support for private organizations in inter-Korea projects, local financial institutions should be at the core of related projects in the future when non-governmental exchanges become the mainstay of economic relations between the two Koreas.

The reports also showed that some of the projects operated through the fund overlap with those financed by other public funds and that such projects should be operated in collaboration with concerned bodies.


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