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(LEAD) S. Korea supports Jim Yong Kim for second term as World Bank chief

All Headlines 21:56 August 25, 2016

(ATTN: CHANGES slug; CLARIFIES para 3; UPDATES with nomination by U.S. in paras 5, 6)

SEJONG, Aug. 25 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's government said Thursday it supports a second term for Jim Yong Kim to lead the World Bank Group for another five years, as his first term of office is expected to end next year.

The Ministry of Strategy and Finance released a statement saying it respects Kim's leadership and achievements made since his inauguration as the 12th president in July 2012. His term is expected to end in late June next year.

The U.S.-based World Bank Group started the process to nominate the next president on Thursday, shortly after Kim expressed his interest in a second term.

"Active reform is being carried out to run the organization more efficiently and effectively," the ministry said. "Visible outcomes have been made as the World Bank Group played active roles in tackling diverse issues that needed joint responses from the international community."

The U.S. Department of the Treasury on Thursday announced that the United States is nominating Kim to remain the president of the group.

"President Kim has used his first term to focus the World Bank on effectively addressing today's most pressing global development challenges in innovative ways, from ending extreme poverty and tackling inequality, to combating climate change," the department said. "President Kim has also ably led responses to major crises, including battling the Ebola pandemic and addressing the refugee crisis."

The World Bank Group Staff Association, however, has been opposing Kim's second term, saying there needs to be a change in the selection process.

"We have accepted decades of backroom deals which, twelve times in a row, selected an American male," the association said in an open letter earlier this month, in opposition to the second term of the Korean-born American citizen. "This must change."

Born in Seoul in 1959, Kim moved to the United States at the age of five and served as the president of Dartmouth College and as a senior official at the World Health Organization (WHO) before leading the World Bank Group.

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