On Saturday, South Korea and Japan’s finance
chiefs agreed to start discussions on resuming the two countries’ currency swap deal. South Korean finance minister Yoo Il-ho responded
to critics who called that a sudden and complete reversal of policy, as the government told
the press before the ministerial talks, the currency swap would not be discussed. Yoo said on Sunday the swap had in fact been
constantly touched on by both sides over a prolonged period, and that the decision to
take it up on Saturday was made in view of the need to secure another safety net in the
face of a possible U.S. rate hike. Earlier, Seoul also agreed to extend a currency
swap deal with Beijing worth around 57-point-4 billion dollars which was scheduled to expire
next year.