S. Korea welcomes Obama's pick of Korean-born scholar as World Bank leader
Published : Mar 24, 2012 - 16:17
Updated : Mar 24, 2012 - 16:19

South Korea's presidential office on Saturday welcomed U.S. President Barack Obama's nomination of the Korean-born Dartmouth College President Jim Yong Kim as the next leader of the World Bank.

   "We believe that President Kim is the right person to carry out the duties to reform the World Bank and eradicate poverty," the office said in a statement. "We highly appreciate President Obama's decision to nominate President Kim and will cooperate more closely with the World Bank."

   Born in Seoul, in 1959, Kim moved to the U.S. with his family when he was five years old.

   As a pioneer in the treatment of HIV, AIDS and tuberculosis, Kim has the breadth of experience on development issues needed to carry out the financial institution's anti-poverty mission, Obama said.

   Kim is expected to be formally chosen as president of the financial institution, tasked with reducing poverty and supporting development around the world, next month by its 25-member executive board.

   Obama's unexpected pick of the Korean-American figure was seen as aimed at countering a claim by African and Latin American countries that the U.S., the world's largest economy with the biggest clout in the World Bank, has only installed Americans into the top post at the 187-nation World Bank.