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S. Korea regrets Japan's suspension of talks on currency swap deal

All Headlines 14:35 January 06, 2017

SEJONG, Jan. 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's finance ministry on Friday expressed regret over Japan's decision to suspend bilateral talks on a currency swap deal due to rising diplomatic tensions.

"We regret that the talks on the Korea-Japan currency swap deal was suspended due to political and diplomatic issues," the Ministry of Strategy and Finance said in a statement. "It is desirable that the two countries continue bilateral economic and financial cooperation regardless of political and diplomatic relations."

Earlier in the day, the Tokyo government said that it has broken off the negotiations with South Korea to reopen the currency swap deal, citing Seoul's recent move to let the statue symbolizing the victims of Japan's wartime sexual slavery be built in front of its consulate building in the southern port city of Busan.

In August last year, the finance ministers from the two countries agreed to resume the talks after a US$10 billion bilateral currency swap agreement, that had been maintained since 2001, expired in February 2015.

A currency swap is an arrangement between two countries to exchange one currency for another at a specific rate of exchange in a bid to use the powerful foreign currency to soothe volatility in the local currency market.

South Korea's Finance Minister Yoo Il-ho (R) shakes hands with his Japanese counterpart Taro Aso at the Korea-Japan finance ministers meeting in Seoul on Aug. 27, 2016. (Yonhap file photo)

brk@yna.co.kr
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