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Son of N. Korea's late foreign minister named central bank chief

All Headlines 09:46 March 08, 2011

SEOUL, March 8 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has named the third son of a late former foreign minister as head of the communist country's central bank, according to an official media report released this week.

Reporting on a meeting of businessmen from around the country, Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency on late Monday described Paek Ryong-chon, the son of former foreign minister Paek Nam-sun, as president of the Central Bank of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the North's official name.

The report confirms that Paek Ryong-chon, 49, has risen to the position since he appeared in public as a ranking Cabinet bureaucrat in December 2007. His father died of lung cancer in January 2007.

The North's bank issues the country's currency, the won, and its functions are similar to those of central banks in other countries, running branches and supervising other banks.

"The appointment appears to be largely in consideration of the late foreign minister, Paek Nam-sun," a high-level North Korean defector said, declining to be identified.

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