Finance Minister Warns Israel-Hamas Conflict Could Impact South Korean Economy

SEOUL — Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho expressed concern Thursday that the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas could affect inflation and have broader implications for the South Korean financial market and real economy.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the finance minister shared his views during a parliamentary audit of his ministry. Choo mentioned that although the Israel-Hamas conflict has not disrupted energy supplies, it poses potential risks to inflation and could trigger volatility in financial and foreign exchange markets.

Choo pledged that the government will enhance market monitoring and implement preemptive measures based on various scenarios. The comments come at a time when inflation had slowed in recent months, with consumer prices having recently reported the highest on-year increase of 3.7 percent in five months.

The government has decided to extend the tax cut on fuel consumption set to expire this month through the end of the year, in an effort to ease inflation. Additionally, Choo committed to supporting exporters by providing 365 trillion won (US$268.89 billion) in trade financing this year and offering greater tax benefits for corporate investment.

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