SKorea shelves new banknote
Thu, Dec 18, 2008

SEOUL - SOUTH Korea has shelved plans to issue a 100,000 won (S$107.71) banknote because a map printed on its back was found to have omitted islands also claimed by Japan, an official said on Thursday.

The central Bank of Korea decided in May last year to issue 50,000 won and 100,000 won bills, adding to the existing 1,000, 5,000 and 10,000 won notes.

It unveiled final designs of the 50,000 and 100,000 won bills late last year.

'The issuance of the 100,000 won banknote has been suspended because of problems with its design,' the official at the Ministry of Strategy and Finance told AFP on condition of anonymity.

The famous 19th-century map fails to include Dokdo, a group of islets in the Sea of Japan (East Sea) which are disputed with Japan.

Tokyo's renewed claim to the tiny islands sparked angry protests in Seoul this year.

'Dokdo is unseen on the back design,' the official said, adding that the faltering economy was another reason to shelve the launch.

Local news reports said, however, that the real reason for the postponement was the front design which features Kim Gu, a nationalist who led the anti-Japanese struggle during the 1910-1945 colonial era.

Rightist activists have been campaigning to drop Kim Gu and replace him with Syngman Rhee, Kim Gu's rival and the country's first president. -- AFP


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