South Korea and the United States agreed to cooperate closely through Group of 20 (G20) meetings and bilateral talks in order to help stabilize the global financial market, the finance ministry here said Saturday.
The agreement was reached during a meeting in Washington on Thursday (local time) between Finance Minister Bahk Jae-wan and U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Bahk is in the U.S. to attend G20 meetings along with IMF annual gatherings.
"Secretary Geithner and (the) Minister of Strategy and Finance had a constructive discussion on the current challenges that we -- advanced countries and developing emerging economies -- face, and the risks posed by Europe," the ministry said in a press release.
"They agreed to continue to closely work together in the G20 and bilaterally to ensure recovery and growth in the global economy and maintain stability in the global financial market," it added.
During the meeting, Bahk pointed out that the fiscal debt crisis in advanced nations is fast spreading throughout the world and, especially after the downgrade on U.S. debts, South Korea and other emerging countries were subject to sharp depreciations in their currencies.
He also noted that the G20 is now focused on mid- and long-term structural responses at a time when the global market needs immediate action to ease growing volatility.
"It is time to start concrete discussion on stabilizing the market by making such efforts as establishing communication channels between governments and central banks," Bahk was quoted as saying during the meeting.
"We should also accelerate discussion on strengthening the global safety net to prevent a crisis from spreading to countries that have sound macroeconomic conditions," he said.
Bahk and Geithner discussed global financial market situations and shared the view that things could be resolved through global cooperation, the ministry said. Both also agreed that the top priority at this moment is to swiftly cope with the eurozone debt issue, according to the ministry.