S. Korea, China extend currency swap deal

Cornelia Mascio
Ottobre 13, 2017

Lee Ju-yeol hold a news conference in Washington on October 12, 2017, to announce the extension of the 64 trillion-won (US$55 billion) currency swap deal between Seoul and Beijing, in this photo provided by the foreign ministry the next day.

The two are in the USA capital for the meeting of the Group of 20 finance ministers and central bank governors, as well as the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Lee Ju-yeol, accompanied by Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon, told reporters in Washington on Thursday (local time).

South Korea's trade minister Kim Hyun-chong said on Friday the United States may demand that Seoul guarantees it will step up arms purchases and imports of US shale gas if the two countries renegotiate a free trade agreement.

The official announcement came three days after the currency swap deal expired.

A currency swap is a tool for defending against financial turmoil by allowing a country beset by a liquidity crunch to borrow money from others with its own currency.

President Moon Jae-in said last month that a successful Chinese currency swap extension would be "a sign of improving relations".

Two launchers are already operational and since late a year ago China - the South's top trading partner - has taken a series of measures against South Korean businesses, seen by Seoul as unofficial economic retaliation.

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