April 06, 2018 12:31
Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon on Thursday said Korea retains the right to intervene in the exchange rate despite U.S. claims of a deal to limit government intervention.
"We have a sovereign right to defend our currency market," Kim told reporters after a meeting of economy-related ministers. "We will take clear steps to respond to sudden distortions."
The comments came after claims from U.S. trade officials that the revised FTA with Korea includes a "side deal" prohibiting both countries from deliberately devaluing their currencies for trade advantage, which caused the won to strengthen further against the greenback.
"This is a matter we have discussed with the International Monetary Fund for the past few years and we also negotiate the issue with the U.S."
Asked when the government plans to reveal its records of intervention in the foreign-exchange market, Kim said, "Some countries do that every three to six months or more often; We will decide after monitoring the market."
Kim reiterated that the exchange rate is a separate matter from revisions to the free trade agreement with the U.S., despite claims from Washington to the contrary.
Korea is currently on a U.S. watchlist of currency manipulators and has long been suspected of keeping the won artificially low.
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