South Korea has announced it will back North Korea's bid to join the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
The Korea Times reported on a news briefing in Seoul, in which five lawmakers who had visited Pyongyang said North Korea is considering membership in the World Bank, based in Washington.
"We've promised to help North Korea become a member of international organizations," said Rep. Kim Jong-yull, who met with North Korean leaders.
The Times reported that the United States and other developed countries have had a reluctant attitude toward North Korea's entry into international organizations, including the Asian Development Bank. The United States -- a major shareholder in the IMF, ADB and the World Bank -- has played a large role in rejecting Pyongyang's applications for admission, based on objections to North Korea's nuclear program.