• Kyodo

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Prosecutors at the Kobe District Court on Monday called for prison terms ranging between 18 months and four years for three former executives of a pro-Pyongyang credit cooperative for making illegal loans.

The prosecutors demanded a four-year sentence for Song Han Gyong, 63, former president of defunct Chogin Kyoto Credit Cooperative; a two-year term for Kim Dong Ho, 62, a former vice president of Chogin Kyoto; and an 18-month term for Kim Jong Rip, 59.

According to the prosecutors, the trio extended loans worth about 180 million yen to two failed real estate companies in Tokyo from December 1996 to August 1998 and caused financial damage to Chogin Kyoto.

The three extended the loans in a bid to make profits for an affiliated nonbank by having the two companies pay the sum as interest payments on loans from the nonbank, the prosecutors said.

The nonbank was under the direct control of the Korean credit union associations, a superstructure of Chogin Kyoto.

The prosecutors also allege that Son conspired with the former chairman of the association and others to illegally withdraw 350 million yen from Chogin Kyoto and 340 million yen from Chogin Kinki Credit Cooperative, another defunct pro-Pyongyang credit union, in 1998.

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