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South Korea Eyes of Becoming a 'Knowledge Hub' for Antiterrorism Financing

by YuGee / Sep 19, 2016 06:18 AM EDT
Yim Jong Yong, South Korea's vice finance minister, speaks during an interview at his office in Kwacheon, South Korea, on Wednesday, June 9, 2010. South Korea needs more evidence of a sustainable economic recovery and a stronger global outlook before rais

South Korean officials announced on Monday that the country is aiming to become a "knowledge hub" in antiterrorism financing as a new training center related to the mentioned industry was launched in the country.

In a report, Yonhap News mentioned that South Korea has been active in supporting the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) particularly because it faces direct threats from North Korea. The government has funded the establishment of the FATF Training and Research Institute (TREIN) which will be opened on Tuesday in the country's southern port city, Busan.

 TREIN is in-charge of international education and research on the campaign against money laundering and terrorism-proliferation financing.

In a meeting in Seoul with TREIN leader Kevin Stephenson, Yim Jong Yong, the Chairman of the Financial Services Commission said, "As a strategic partner of the FATF TREIN, the South Korean government guarantees its maximum autonomy and promises to provide support."

Yim further emphasized that the government will do its best to support TREIN in becoming an "international knowledge hub" in anti-money laundering and to fight terrorism financing. Yim also promised to play a mediating role between developing and advanced countries.

Stephenson, on the other hand, stated that it is a "global responsibility" to counter money laundering and proliferation financing.

He added, "In the very early stages, we are going to focus on developing training courses or products that will help the jurisdictions understand the standards and also understand how to effectively implement them. I think the TREIN institute can play a significant role in improving the jurisdictions' understanding."

Stephenson also mentioned, "a little bit of change" in the task force's focus from "technical compliance" to "effectiveness" in carrying out its recommendations. For example, FATF can research how to roll out the task force's recommendation for "targeted financial sanctions related to proliferation" in a way that could affect North Korea.

He also emphasized that it is important to for the FATF member states to protect their financial institutions from the flow of proliferation-related funds and discourage the usage of funds for "evil purposes."

"So I think there is an area where TREIN can do research. That is a kind of niche the FATF fits in," he ended.

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