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Finance minister vows to tighten monitoring of market

All Headlines 16:02 September 09, 2016

SEJONG, Sept. 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's top economic policymaker on Friday pledged to be on high alert to deal with possible wider volatility in the local financial market following North Korea's latest nuclear test.

North Korea said earlier it has "successfully" conducted a nuclear warhead explosion test, hours after an earthquake was detected near the country's nuclear site in the northeastern region.

"The government will be more vigilant than in any other situation as North Korea's provocation will possibly stir up market volatility in a short term," Finance Minister Yoo Il-ho said during a parliamentary hearing. "We will take action in accordance with the contingency plans."

South Korea's Finance Minister Yoo Il-ho speaks at a parliamentary hearing in Seoul on Sept. 9, 2016. (Yonhap)

At the same time, an emergency meeting of economy-related officials was convened to look into the impact of the North's fifth nuclear test on the local equity market.

"(The North test) will have limited impact on the South Korean and international financial markets," said Vice Finance Choi Sang-mok who presided over the gathering involving vice president of the Bank of Korea and vice chairman of the Financial Services Commission. "The local stock and foreign exchange markets have remained firm since news reports on the nuclear test."

Nevertheless, Choi stressed that the government will tighten monitoring on the market to fend off any possible fallout from the latest North Korean provocation, coupled with a possible U.S. rate hike.

"Uncertainties have been escalating in the global financial market as the U.S. central bank is set to raise the base rate," said the official. "The government will form a task force to keep close tabs on the financial market around-the-clock and take immediate action if necessary."

Officials from key economic and financial organizations including the Ministry of strategy and Finance, the Bank of Korea and the Financial Services Commission pose before an emergency meeting on North Korea's nuclear test in Seoul on Sept. 9, 2016. (Courtesy of the finance ministry)

brk@yna.co.kr
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