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Yoon expected to discuss economic security with Janet Yellen on Tuesday

Special attention is being paid to whether Korea-US currency swap will be discussed

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen (Yonhap)
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen (Yonhap)


President Yoon Suk-yeol will meet with US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in Yongsan, Seoul, on Tuesday, and they are expected to discuss issues related to economic security, including supply chains and the establishment of economic partnerships between the two countries.

“The economic situation between Korea and the US is very difficult, not only in Korea but also in the US and internationally. So we will discuss various pending methods to stabilize the situation,” the presidential office said on Monday without commenting on the issue further.

The meeting will be attended by the National Security Office officials.

During her meetings in Seoul, Yellen will push for a proposed cap on the price of Russian oil and discuss efforts to address supply chain bottlenecks through “friend-shoring,” the Treasury Department said.

Friend-shoring refers to a strategy to break through a flurry of economic issues such as supply chain confusion and inflation by strengthening cooperation between allies.

They are also expected to discuss how to cap Russian crude oil prices as part of sanctions against Russia.

Measures to impose independent sanctions on North Korea to block the North‘s financial resources are also expected to be on the table. Earlier, Brian Nelson, the US Treasury Department’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, visited Korea and met with Foreign Ministry officials.

She will also meet with Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs Choo Kyung-ho and Bank of Korea Gov. Lee Chang-yong during her visit to Korea.

At the meeting with Choo, in-depth discussions are expected on global supply chain issues, strengthening Russian sanctions and countermeasures against inflation.

Attention will be focused on whether bilateral cooperation to ease volatility in the foreign exchange market, and discussions on the Korea-US currency swap will take place.

However, Choo expressed his belief that full-fledged discussions will be difficult, commenting Saturday in Bali, Indonesia, where he attended the G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting, that it is the role of the Fed, not the work of the US Treasury.

Currency swaps are agreements that allow two countries to exchange currencies in case of emergencies in preparation for financial market instability.

The Korea-US currency swap was signed during the 2008 global financial crisis and the pandemic in 2020, but it ended last year without being extended further.

Then, in recent years, the necessity has emerged again as the won‘s value has plunged and foreign funds are rapidly escaping from the stock market as the US is speeding up its rate hike to curb inflation.

During her visit to Seoul, Yellen is also expected to visit LG Science Park in Magok-dong, Seoul, to deliver a speech to emphasize the establishment of a supply chain with allies and tour LG Chem’s research and development facilities. LG Chem is a major shareholder of LG Energy Solution, a South Korean battery manufacturer.

She will also send a message about the importance of women‘s economic activities at a luncheon with about 30 Korean female entrepreneurs.

By Shin Ji-hye (shinjh@heraldcorp.com)
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