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South Korea Hits Back at Japan's Comments on Won

South Korea on Thursday dismissed as "inappropriate" recent remarks by Japan's top trade negotiator that Seoul was trying to keep the won cheap and that such efforts posed a serious challenge to Japanese firms.

Korean won notes
Mark Harwood | Stone | Getty Images
Korean won notes

"It was inappropriate (for Japan) to publicly mention the Korean government while stating wrong information," Choi Jong-ku, deputy finance minister for international affairs, told Reuters and South Korean financial news provider Infomax.

Choi was referring to remarks by Japan's Hideichi Okada, vice minister for international affairs at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry during an interview published in the Wall Street Journal late last week.

South Korean government and companies were closed for the first two days of this week for a public holiday.

South Korea's won has appreciated by about 3.2 percent against the dollar so far this year but is 3.6 percent weaker than the yen, which shot up against the dollar over the period.

"The Korean won has gotten very cheap in relation to the Japanese yen," Okada was quoted as saying. "A country should not intentionally depreciate its currency."

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